25 year spotlight: Professor John Zalcberg, OAM


“Over many years, the AGITG has enabled me to collaborate with numerous colleagues all of whom shared a common purpose — defining new ways that we can improve the life of patients with gastrointestinal cancer.

I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved, none of which would have been possible unless we’d joined forces as clinicians and consumers to draw a line in the sand — to state unequivocally, the status quo is not good enough!

I feel privileged to have shared our knowledge with so many patients and their families and personally have learnt an enormous amount from talented, hard-working and committed people who have been part of this vision”

Professor John Zalcberg, OAM, was a founder of, and is immediate past Chair, of the Board of the AGITG. He served in the Chair role for over 18 years until May 2014.

Professor Zalcberg’s clinical research interests include gastrointestinal cancer and health care outcomes. He was a Principal Investigator for the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) trial in Australia and continues an active involvement in trials in this disease as well as other gastrointestinal cancers.

He was the Director, Division of Cancer Medicine, at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia for 17 years prior to recently taking up the position of Head of Cancer Research at Monash University.

After earning a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Melbourne and a PhD in cancer immunology, he served as Director of Medical Oncology at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and as Director of Cancer Services at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre.

He was a founder of the Lorne Cancer Conference and a past Board Member of Cancer Trials Australia. He is the current Co-Chair of the Cancer Drugs Alliance and Chair of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance.   A past Board Member of the NSW Cancer Institute, past President of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, and a past Member of the Consultative Council of the Victorian Cancer Agency, he has received a Medal of the Order of Australia Award (OAM), the 2011 Cancer Achievement Award from the Medical Oncology Group of Australia and is the recipient of the 2014 Tom Reeve Award awarded by the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia.

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