Sydney Cancer Partners Director

Professor Anna DeFazio

Prof Anna DeFazio holds the Sydney-West Chair in Translational Cancer Research at the University of Sydney. She is Director of the Center for Cancer Research and Head of the Gynaecological Oncology Research Laboratory at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research. She holds an Honorary position as head of the Gynaecological Oncology Research group, Western Sydney Local Health District. Anna is Chief Investigator and Director of the Cancer Institute NSW & Sydney Health Partners-funded Sydney Cancer Partners and the Convenor of the University of Sydney’s Cancer Research Network.

With a long-standing commitment to translational research, and emphasis on improving treatment outcomes for women with ovarian cancer, Anna is lead investigator for INOVATe (Individualised Ovarian Cancer Treatment Through Integration of Genomic Pathology into Multidisciplinary Care), a multi-site translational program linking molecular profiling and clinical trials to advance precision medicine in ovarian cancer.

Anna completed her PhD at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, the University of Sydney, undertook postdoctoral studies at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and established a program of ovarian cancer research at Westmead in 1995. She was a member of the Executive leadership team for the Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre (2011-2021) including five years as co-Deputy Director (2016-2021).

Sydney Cancer Partners Operational Staff

  • Clinical Professor Rosemary Balleine

    Clinical & Strategic Partnerships Lead

    Clinical Professor Rosemary Balleine is Research Pathologist working in the field of translational cancer research. She has long-standing connections to health services and translational research initiatives in western Sydney. Prof Balleine’s research has focused in the areas of molecular profiling of cancer tissues, familial cancer and pharmacogenomics.

    From 2016-21, Rosemary was Group Leader in Cancer Pathology (2016-20) and co-Group Leader ProCan® Oncology (2020-21) at the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI). She was a leader of the CINSW-supported Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre as Associate Director (2011-16) and co-Deputy Director (2016-21). She was a foundation Chief Investigator of the Australian Breast Cancer Tissue Bank and is currently an Investigator for INOVATe – Individualised Ovarian Cancer Treatment Through Integration of Genomic Pathology into Multidisciplinary Care. Previous appointments include as Staff Specialist in Translational Oncology in the Sydney West Cancer Network including two CINSW Clinical Research Fellow awards; Clinical Director of Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology, Pathology West at the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR).

  • Dr Bronwyn Robertson

    Operations Manager & Academic Lead

    Dr Bronwyn Robertson has over 20 years’ experience in Research Management and Operations. She was appointed the Operations Manager and Academic Lead for Sydney Cancer Partners in July 2021 having spent the previous 6 years as Manager of the Cancer Institute NSW-funded Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre. Prior to that she was Research Manager at the Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics at UNSW (2000-2015). Bronwyn holds a PhD in Microbiology from UNSW where she studied the molecular evolution of gut bacteria, after which she completed two years as a postdoctoral research fellow at the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan.

  • Cara McFarlane

    Communications & Events Officer

    Cara has worked in professional communication, project and events roles within the University of Sydney, predominantly with Cancer Researchers, for the past 4 years. She has a passion for event management and marketing and secret love of spreadsheets. After completing a Bachelor of Commerce in 2007, majoring in Marketing and Management, Cara worked for Qantas Airways, building strong commercial acumen and experience in analytics and customer insights through various business analysis, strategy and customer experience positions.

Sydney Cancer Partners Steering Committee

  • Professor Ilona Cunningham

    Clinical Director – Cancer Services & Palliative Care Sydney Local Health District

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  • Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza

    Director – Cancer Centre for Children, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network

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  • Professor Alexander Engel

    Director Cancer Services – Northern Sydney Local Health District

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  • Professor Paul Harnett

    Network Director – Cancer Services, Western Sydney Local Health District

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  • Professor Lisa Horvath

    Director of Research – Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

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  • Professor Don Nutbeam

    Executive Director – Sydney Health Partners

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  • Professor Geraldine O’Neill

    Head of Department, Children’s Cancer Research Unit – The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network

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  • Professor Roger Reddel

    Sir Lorimer Dods Professor and Director – Children’s Medical Research Institute

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  • Professor Tim Shaw

    Director Research in Implementation Science and eHealth (RISe) Charles Perkins Centre

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