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Professor John Zalcberg


Prof Zalcberg is Head of the Cancer Research Program in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University and holds the inaugural Tony Charlton Chair in Cancer Research at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Prior to taking up his current position in 2015, he was Director of the Division of Cancer Medicine at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac) in Melbourne for 17 years and Chief Medical Officer at that institution for 5 years.

After earning bachelor’s degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Melbourne and a PhD in cancer immunology, Prof Zalcberg served as Director of Medical Oncology at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and Director of Cancer Services at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre, Victoria, Australia, before taking up his role at the Peter Mac.

A co-founder of the Lorne Cancer Conference and the Australasian Gastrointestinal Trials Group (AGITG), he was the prior Chair of the Board of AGITG and a previous board member of Cancer Trials Australia. He was the Co-Chair of the Cancer Drugs Alliance and is the current Chair of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. He is also a past board member of the Cancer Institute of New South Wales, Australian Red Cross Blood Service, past-President of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia (COSA), and a past member of the Consultative Council of the Victorian Cancer Agency.  

He has received several awards including a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), the Cancer Achievement Award from the Medical Oncology Group of Australia and the Tom Reeve Award for Outstanding Contributions to Cancer Care from COSA. In 2014, the AGITG created the annual “John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence in Cancer Research and in 2018 he was awarded the Red Cross Distinguished Service Medal.

Prof Zalcberg’s clinical research interests include gastrointestinal cancer and quality of care and he has published over 270 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He was the Principal Investigator for the EORTC advanced GIST trial in Australia and continues to be actively involved in trials in this disease, as well as other gastrointestinal cancers. He continues an active clinical practice in gastrointestinal cancers.