NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre Director awarded the University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

Professor John Simes, CTC director, has just been awarded the University of Sydney's Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence. It acknowledges his exceptional research at the university.

He is a practising medical oncologist who specialises in brain cancer, but is also a leader in other cancer trials, cardiovascular and perinatal research.

John founded the CTC at the university in 1988 and since then has continued to lead its research program, with cardiologist Professor Tony Keech, CTC deputy director.

He says, 'We are fortunate to work with exceptional individuals-at the Clinical Trials Centre, among our clinical collaborators and in other organisations in Australia and around the world. Our research depends on the efforts of many people.'

The centre has grown to nearly 200 people, who conduct a research program based on clinical trials and covering a broad translational research pathway that integrates clinical trials and experimental science and also bridges the gap between research evidence and clinical practice. The program extends into research methodology, laboratory studies, economic evaluation, and integrating evidence to support clinical practice and policy.

In a career spanning four decades, John has been a tireless advocate of the value of clinical trials. In the 1980s he published a rationale for prospective registration of all trials to benefit research and health systems in many ways, including reducing bias in the clinical evidence used for clinical practice.

He was also an early advocate of making trials research part of routine clinical practice, to benefit practice, and research, and to optimise health care expenditure.

As founding director of Sydney Catalyst Translational Cancer Research Centre, John has helped to bring together cross-disciplinary teams that integrate cancer research. He has also contributed to the starting up or development of six Australian and New Zealand collaborative cancer research groups. These are networks of clinician-investigators who initiate and develop clinical trials in areas of need. Such groups, in various disease areas, are now represented in the peak organisation, the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance.

He is an outstanding and committed clinician, educator and researcher, leading clinical trials and translational research in Australia and, through collaborations, across the world.

He says of his career:

'It's a reflection of all the people I've worked with, a reflection of the people at the Clinical Trials Centre particularly, and others in Australia and around the world, not only in cancer.

'What I do is so collaborative. Without them this work wouldn't be possible.'


14 August 2017