We are delighted to announce that the Director of the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick and Clinical Research Fellow at Children’s Cancer Institute, Associate Professor Tracey O’Brien has agreed to support the Leila Rose Foundation as Scientific Advisor. In this honorary role, A/Professor O’Brien will advise the Foundation with respect to changing trends in the diagnosis and treatment of rare childhood cancer, provide advice on our funding criteria and targeting of support, and assist us to define appropriate areas of focus for any research grants that we provide in the future.
Professor O’Brien has particular interest and expertise in marrow and cord blood transplants, treatment of high risk and relapsed leukaemia and lymphoma, infant leukaemia and adolescent cancers. Additionally, A/Professor O’Brien has extensive knowledge in treatment of life threatening non-malignant diseases requiring transplantation including Severe Aplastic Anaemia, inherited bone marrow failure syndromes, metabolic diseases, immune deficiencies, Hemophagocytosis and Histiocytosis.
A/Prof O’Brien has more than 80 publications in high impact journals including Blood, Stem Cells, Leukaemia, Journal of Clinical Oncology, British Journal of Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation and has authored 7 leading textbook chapters on leukaemia, child cancer or transplant.
A/Prof O’Brien completed her post-graduate medical training at the University of Minnesota where she was awarded the position of Chief Fellow and received the highest research award for a sub-specialty fellow during
her time in the US. Her published pre-clinical work on engineered suicide T-cells for the prevention and treatment of graft versus host disease contributed to the foundations for an FDA approved phase I clinical trial. In addition to her medical degree, A/Prof O’Brien has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters in Health Law (USyd) and an executive MBA (AGSM, UNSW).
In addition, A/Prof O’Brien has a strong commitment to education and teaching with active supervision and mentorship of 16 oncology and transplant paediatric subspecialty trainees and 4 phD candidates
Prof O’Brien has held a number of executive and advisory board positions including the Vice President of the Australian & New Zealand Children’s Haemotology Oncology Group (ANZCHOG), an executive advisory board member for the Centre for International Bone Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and an executive council member of the NSW BMT Network.
Prof O’Brien was the past Chair of the CI NSW, Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Group and a founding executive member of the Cancer Australia steering committee on AYA Cancer and a National AYA COSA subcommittee. In 2005, A/Prof O’Brien presented evidence to a Senate Select Committee resulting in Federal and State recommendations for improved care of adolescent and young adult cancer patients in Australia.