Lorimer Dods Professor and Director Head, Cancer Research Unit
Professor Roger Reddel BSc (Med) MBBS PhD FRACP FAA — is Director of Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI), and the Sir Lorimer Dods Professor, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. He also heads CMRI's Cancer Research Unit, and directs CellBank Australia. He obtained his medical degrees from the University of Sydney, trained in medical oncology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Roger completed a PhD in cancer cell biology at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in the University of Sydney's Department of Cancer Medicine, and received an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship and a Fulbright Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral research at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
He returned to Sydney to establish a laboratory at CMRI, attracted by the Institute's culture of fostering high quality basic research, and with the support of Cancer Council NSW's Bicentennial Fellowship. He has continued to receive major support from the Cancer Council, including being awarded the Carcinogenesis Fellowship for ten years, and Program Grants for five years. His team is also supported by Cancer Institute NSW, the Judith Hyam Memorial Trust Fund for Cancer Research, Rotary Club of Sydney, and the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
Professor Reddel's research is focused on the molecular genetics of immortalisation, the process that allows cancer cells to divide an unlimited number of times. He and his group are best known for their work on telomerase, the enzyme on which 85% of cancers depend for their unlimited growth, and for discovering Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) upon which the remaining ~10% depend. The goal of this work is to understand the immortalisation process in sufficient detail to make it possible to design treatments that specifically limit cancer cell proliferation. The aim of this research is to develop new forms of cancer treatment that prevent cancer cell growth by blocking immortalisation. Professor Reddel was awarded the Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research in 2007, was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2010, and in 2011 received the NSW Premier's Award for Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year.
Professor Reddel is a director of Cure Cancer Australia Foundation. He serves on editorial boards of a number of international cancer research journals, and on national and international scientific advisory panels.