Annual Scientific Meeting 2024

Annual Scientific Meeting

The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials 2024 Annual Scientific Meeting will bring together Australian leaders in melanoma and skin cancer clinical trials to share the latest discoveries and foster further innovative research.

The full-day program will feature a keynote address, presentations on Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials clinical research, consumer sessions, and other relevant talks.

The Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials 2024 Annual Scientific Meeting will be a satellite meeting of the Australasian Melanoma Conference (AMC), held 25-26 October 2024, Hyatt Regency Sydney.

Networking Event

Immediately following the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), a combined networking event will be held with the national team from the ACRF Australian Centre of Excellence in Melanoma Imaging and Diagnosis (ACEMID). Drinks and canapés will be served while attendees from both the ASM and ACEMID meetings catch up informally. 


Annual Scientific Meeting: 9am – 5.30pm 
Networking Event: 5.30pm – 6.30pm 
Thursday, 24 October 2024
Venue: Hyatt Regency Sydney

Registration fees
Full registration for medical practitioners: $150
Concession for non-medical practitioners: $75
Registration fees include access to the Annual Scientific Meeting and the Networking Event.

Registrations are through the Australasian Melanoma Conference registration portal. You can register for:

  • Annual Scientific Meeting only; OR
  • Annual Scientific Meeting AND the Australasian Melanoma Conference.

Contact us if you have any registration enquiries.

Seats at the Annual Scientific Meeting and Networking Event are limited to the first 180 registrations.

Who should attend?

The 2024 Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Annual Scientific Meeting and Networking Event are relevant to those who represent the many disciplines critical to our work including:

Radiation specialists

Allied health professionals
Health economists

Research scientists
Clinical trial coordinators
Data managers
Consumers / patient advocates and their families

Meeting Convenor

Prof Mark Shackelton is Chair of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Board of Directors. He is also Director of Oncology at Alfred Health, Co-Director of Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium, Professor of Oncology at Monash University, Director of Cancer Trials Australia, and a Victorian Cancer Agency Clinical Research Fellow. After training in medical oncology in Melbourne, he undertook PhD studies at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan, receiving several major prizes including the 2012 Australian Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year.


The program will feature keynote speakers and a stellar line-up of leaders in their field who will discuss the latest clinical research in melanoma and skin cancer. Updates on Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials’ research portfolio and opportunities for new research collaborations will form part of the meeting. Consumer presentations will also provide a unique perspective on our patient engagement.

More speakers and their details will be added to this webpage as planning progresses.

Keynote speaker

Prof Dorothy Keefe is the CEO of Cancer Australia, Australia’s national cancer agency. Prior to this she had a long and distinguished career as a medical oncologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and as Professor of Cancer Medicine at the University of Adelaide, where she remains an Honorary Clinical Professor. Her long-term research interest has been Supportive Care in Cancer, with a particular focus on gastrointestinal toxicity. She has a strong interest in health reform, advocacy, career development and mentoring. She is committed to patient-centred care, reducing unnecessary variation in cancer outcomes, and to improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer. As CEO of Cancer Australia, she has led the enquiry into Lung Cancer Screening and the development of the first national Australian Cancer Plan.

Talk: The Australian Cancer Plan – the first year

Melanoma dermatology clinical trials

Session chair: Prof Pascale Guitera


Prof Pascale Guitera is the Director of the Sydney Melanoma Diagnostic Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and a faculty member of the Melanoma Institute Australia. She holds an academic position at the University of Sydney with a particular interest in new diagnosis tools for skin cancers.

Talk: Alternatives treatment for lentigo maligna: review of evidence and the RADICAL trial

Prof Victoria Mar is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists and Director of the Victorian Melanoma Service at the Alfred Hospital. She is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University having completed her PhD in ‘Clinical and Molecular Characteristics of Aggressive Melanoma’ in 2015. She has an interest in early melanoma diagnosis and surveillance of high-risk individuals. Prof Mar is a member of the Cancer Council Australia Melanoma Guidelines Working Group and Board member of Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials.

Talk: Artificial intelligence implementation in national screening

Prof Stephen Nicholls is Program Director of Monash Heart, Intensive Care and the Victorian Heart Hospital at Monash Health, and Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Victorian Heart Institute at Monash University. He is a preventive cardiologist, whose research interests span the translational spectrum with a focus on metabolic risk factors on atherosclerosis, plaque imaging, leadership of clinical trials, and development of research acceleration platforms. He has received more than $165M in funding and published more than 1,160 peer reviewed manuscripts, book chapters and conference proceedings.

Talk: SOCRATES: Maintaining long term heart health in the patient with melanoma treated with checkpoint inhibitors

Alison Button-Sloan is the Chair of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Consumer Advisory Panel. She has 10 years’ advocacy experience, is a stage II melanoma survivor, and has had basal and squamous cell carcinomas. She is a member of many consumer and research organisations, including the Cancer Council (Australia) Melanoma Guidelines Management Committee, the Victorian Cancer Registry and Melanoma Research Victoria. Alison has co-authored journal articles with leading clinicians and is an experienced associate investigator on studies and clinical trials. 

Talk: How consumers can inform dermatology clinical trials

Prof Nikolas Haass is a clinician scientist and academic leader with research interest in melanoma cell biology and experimental melanoma therapy. He received his degree in medicine and graduated summa cum laude with a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Heidelberg, Germany before training in clinical dermatology at the University of Hamburg. In 2003 he moved to Philadelphia, PA, USA, for a German Research Foundation (DFG)-sponsored post-doctoral fellowship in Meenhard Herlyn’s lab at The Wistar Institute at University of Pennsylvania. From there he was recruited as an associate faculty member and senior lecturer to Wolfgang Weninger’s lab at the Centenary Institute and the Department of Dermatology at University of Sydney. In 2013 he commenced his current position as Professor for Cutaneous Oncology at the Frazer Institute at University of Queensland. 

Talk: Re-sensitisation of resistant patients to immune checkpoint therapy

Non-melanoma skin cancer clinical trials

Session chair: A/Prof Rahul Ladwa


Prof Kiarash Khosrotehrani leads the Experimental Dermatology Group at the University of Queensland Frazer Institute within the Translational Research Institute in Brisbane. He is also the Deputy Director of the Australian Skin and Skin Cancer Research Centre in Brisbane. Prof Khosrotehrani is a Fellow of the Australian College of Dermatologists, director of Dermatology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, also practicing at the Prince Charles Hospital and the Skin and Cancer Foundation’s Queensland Institute of Dermatology. Prof Khosrotehrani is leading innovative clinical trials in wound healing, keratinocyte cancers and melanoma.

Talk: SiroSkin trial: Reducing the burden of skin cancers in organ transplant recipients

Angela Cairns, Manager of Support and Education at Transplant Australia, is also a Mum of two heart recipients, wife and daughter-in-law of heart recipients. A diverse network of transplant recipients and carers from varied demographics has given Angela further insight into the spectrum of experiences across transplantation. Angela is a Chaplain, author and finds fulfilment in coming alongside others to assist them in making the most out of life.

Talk: Transplant recipients and skin cancer: The lived experience

Dr Jia (Jenny) Liu is a medical oncology staff specialist and translational lead of the early phase unit at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. She specialises in head and neck and non-melanoma skin cancers, and has active research interests in supportive care including the development of novel interventions to address fear of cancer recurrence in cancer survivors.

Talk: NEOPECS: Neoadjuvant anti-PD1 and cetuximab in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

A/Prof Rahul Ladwa is a specialist in medical oncology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Greenslopes Private Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. A/Prof Ladwa is the Deputy Chair of the MASC Trials Melanoma and Skin Cancer Collaborative Group and expert panel member of the Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG) Head Neck Skin Working Party.

Talk: ACTINOPATH: A phase II trial of Cemiplimab To reduce the INcidence Of new keratinocyte carcinomas in PATients witH extensive field cancerisation 

Merkel cell carcinoma clinical trials

Session chair: Dr Wen Xu


Dr Wen Xu is a consultant medical oncologist based at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in Brisbane, and senior lecturer at the University of Queensland, who has a special interest in melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma. He was elected Chair of the Australasian Merkel Cell Carcinoma Interest Group (AMIGOs) in 2022 and also serves as the Chair of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Medical Oncology Discipline-Specific Advisory. Dr Xu is Study Chair of the I-MAT trial  (Immunotherapy Merkel Adjuvant Trial). 

Talk: Immunotherapy Merkel Adjuvant Trial (I-MAT) and Australasian Merkel Cell Carcinoma Interest Group (AMIGOs)

A/Prof Alex Guminski is a medical oncologist at North Shore Private, Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals in Sydney. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney Northern Clinical School, Adjunct Research Fellow at the Kolling Institute in Sydney and Clinical Lead for trials in the Northern Sydney Health District. A/Prof Guminski has a particular interest in novel biological agents and immunotherapy for treatment of advanced cancers. He has been involved in registration trials for systemic therapy of advanced non-melanoma skin cancer.

Talk: The GoTHAM trial: Emerging systemic approaches for metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma

Ocular melanoma clinical trials

Session chair: Prof Anthony Joshua 


Prof Anthony Joshua is the Chair of the Australasian Ocular Melanoma Alliance (AOMA) and leads the Australian arm of the global Uveal Melanoma Registry. He is Head of Department, Department of Medical Oncology at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and the Translational Oncology co-lead at the Garvan Medical Research Institute in Sydney. He is also a Professor at the St Vincent’s Clinical School, University of NSW. Prof Joshua’s research interests include circulating tumour DNA, tumour heterogeneity and autophagy.

1) Uveal Melanoma Registries: Seeking to collate, catalogue and curate
2) SILVER: Trial in progress

Michelle Taylor is the Deputy Chair of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Consumer Advisory Panel and has a lived experience with ocular melanoma. She presented on her experiences as a consumer at the 2023 Australasian Ocular Melanoma Alliance Summit and was featured in the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials 2022 Christmas fundraising appeal for the Uveal Melanoma Registry.

Talk: Two eyes aren’t always better than one!

Melanoma oncology clinical trials

Session chair: Prof Mark Shackleton 


Prof Michael Henderson is a Professor of Surgery with The University of Melbourne and surgeon in the Melanoma and Skin Service at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. After training in general surgery he did a Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston and a MD from the University of Melbourne. Currently he leads a large multinational randomised trial of margins of excision for high-risk melanoma, MelMarT-II.

Talk: MelMarT-II: Melanoma Margins Trial

Ana Ratapu
Originally from New Zealand, Ana Ratapu was treated for melanoma in 2020, then two years later her melanoma returned and spread to her lungs. Ana was offered limited treatment in New Zealand, so she moved to Sydney where she joined an immunotherapy clinical trial. After 18 months on the trial, Ana’s scans showed she was cancer-free. Ana has a unique combination of her lived melanoma experience and the skills learnt as a clinical nurse caring for melanoma and breast cancer patients.

Talk: An international journey to access a clinical trial

Dr Teresa Lee is a cancer and lymphoedema physiotherapist at Royal North Shore Hospital and a casual academic with the University of Sydney. Dr Lee set up the lymphoedema clinic at the Sydney Melanoma Unit in 2007 and continued her work as the Senior lymphoedema physiotherapist at the Melanoma Institute Australia until 2022.  She was the Convenor of the 12th Australasian Lymphology Conference and won the 2017 Australian Physiotherapy Association NSW Branch Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the Profession”.

Talk: Leg lymphoedema after melanoma surgery: A sub-study of the EAGLE FM trial

Dr Malaka Ameratunga is a consultant medical oncologist at the Alfred Hospital where he is the Head of Molecular Oncology and Rare Cancers. He completed his PhD on tumour evolution in melanoma in 2023 and has clinical interests in neuro-oncology, rare cancers and drug development.

Talk: The BETTER trial: A new treatment combination for melanoma brain metastases

Nursing, Allied Health, Public Health and Primary Care

Session chair: Prof David Whiteman


Anne Gately survived stage IV Melanoma. With a career in advertising and marketing, Anne is passionate about changing the ‘bronzed Aussie’ culture. In her book ‘Sunburnt’ she tells her inspirational story and calls on the media and sporting industries to use their influence to lead change in cultural norms and behaviours.  

Talk: How Australia’s culture primed us for skin cancer

Prof Rachel Neale is a principal research fellow and Deputy Director of the Population Health Program at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. Her research focuses on skin cancer, vitamin D, and how to balance the harms and benefits of sun exposure.

Talk: The effect of sunscreen use on vitamin D production

Dr Amelia Smit is an early career cancer epidemiologist and mixed-methods researcher in the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Stream at the Daffodil Centre, a joint venture between Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney. She is also affiliated with the Melanoma Institute Australia and the Sydney School of Public Health at The University of Sydney.

Talk: The Sun Wise Study: A randomised controlled trial of a personalised prevention strategy among people with a history of skin cancer

Prof David Whiteman is a medical epidemiologist with a special interest in the causes, control and prevention of cancer. He has an international reputation for research into melanoma and skin cancer, and the public health aspects of cancer control. Prof Whiteman is currently the Senior Scientist, Cancer Control Group at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

Session chair

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials operations

Gabrielle Byars is Chief Executive of Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials. She brings 15 years’ of cross-industry management experience in US- and Australian-led, multi-centre clinical studies and early phase investigator-initiated research in diabetes (device) and gastroenterology (vaccine). She has a biomedical background and notable success in technical projects with a variety of university and industry stakeholders in the biotechnology and medical technology industries. 

Talk: Update on Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials operations


Platinum Sponsor

Medison is a global pharma company providing accelerated access to highly innovative therapies to patients in Australia and international markets. Medison created the first multi-regional commercialisation platform, enabling partnerships with leading biotech and pharma companies to help save and improve the lives of those suffering from the most challenging diseases. For more information about Medison Pharma, visit

Silver Sponsors


Sponsorship opportunities available

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials offers a range of benefits to sponsors of its Annual Scientific Meeting. If your company is interested in sponsoring this event, please email for further details. 

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials ASM 2024 organising committee

  • Prof Mark Shackleton, Board Chair of Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials, Director of Oncology at Alfred Health, Professor of Oncology at Monash University, and Director of Cancer Trials Australia
  • Alison Button-Sloan, Chair, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials Consumer Advisory Panel
  • Gabrielle Byars, CEO, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials
  • Merrin Morrison, Marketing and Communications Manager, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials
  • Ella Sjodin Administrative Officer / Clinical Trial Assistant, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials


Phone: +61 3 9903 9022