The Research Advisory Committee comprises a group of outstanding individuals with significant experience and expertise to oversee the Research Program. With PCFA's National Board input, oversight and approval, the Research Advisory Committee is responsible for:
- Advising on the strategic direction for the program as a whole and reviewing this strategy annually. This includes identifying areas of prostate cancer research which are under-investigated (especially where there are insufficient applications) and developing strategies to correct that imbalance.
- Acting as the over-arching governing body for PCFA's Research Strategy 2019-2022.
Since 1999, PCFA has been committed to providing a transparent, well-organised and academically rigorous avenue for the funding of worthwhile research projects focused on prostate cancer. Initially the Research Advisory Committee, then known as the Research Committee, was chaired by Professor Roger Reddell (1999 - 2003), followed by Professor Robert Baxter (2003-2006).
Due to the ongoing success of Movember, PCFA was able to establish its annual grant program in 2007 and appointed the first Research Advisory Committee Chairman, Professor John Mills. Professor Mills stepped down as Chair in October, 2013.
In 2015, the PCFA National Board appointed Professor Bruce Armstrong as the chair of RAC.
Emeritus Professor Bruce Armstrong AM, Chair of RAC
Emeritus Professor Bruce Armstrong AM is internationally recognised for his research into the causes and prevention of cancer, having published over 600 papers in scientific books and journals. His research has included work into trends in PSA testing in Australia and their effects on prostate cancer incidence and mortality, and the effects of diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer on men’s quality of life. He contributed extensively to the new Australian guidelines for PSA testing and early management of PSA detected prostate cancer developed by Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and Cancer Council Australia. Bruce is now retired from full-time employment but continues to contribute actively to research, research translation and aspects of health care as an Emeritus Professor at the University of Sydney and an Adjunct Professor at the University of WA. He has previously occupied the roles of Commissioner of Health for WA, Deputy Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Director of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Director of Research and Registers at Cancer Council NSW and Head of the University of Sydney School of Public Health. Bruce was made a Member of the Order of Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2000. He was the inaugural recipient of the NSW Premier's Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year Award in 2006. In 2015 he was listed by Thomson Reuters as among The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds.
Mr Alan Barlee
Mr Alan Barlee has been a Stage 4 prostate cancer survivor for over 15 years, following his diagnosis with intermediate-risk prostate cancer. His treatments have included radical prostatectomy, first generation androgen deprivation therapy and early access pre-chemo abiraterone - the latter reducing his cancer to a state of dormancy progressively over the past five years.
Alan is a strong advocate for prostate cancer patient empowerment through expanded knowledge. He regularly mentors other patients and survivors, helping them to frame relevant questions relating to treatment options and side effects to their respective medical specialists. Alan serves on the steering committees of the national Advanced Prostate Cancer Support Group and the Geelong Prostate Support Group. His advocacy has included representations with others on behalf of advanced prostate cancer patients to Government, the PBAC, drug manufacturers and to PCFA.
After qualifying in Applied Chemistry, Alan had an exciting 32-year career that included research, manufacturing, general management and fellowship of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Over the subsequent eight years he worked in the emerging solar energy industry, both in business and on the executive of the national industry association. He is a member of The Australian Greens and has served as a Victorian State Councillor, as well as serving as Treasurer on Geelong Sustainability Group's Executive Committee. Alan has continuing involvement in sport aviation, sailing and travel.
Associate Professor Lisa Butler
A/Prof Lisa Butler is an ARC Future Fellow at the University of Adelaide and heads the Prostate Cancer Research Group at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. She holds a Ph.D. in cancer biology from the University of Adelaide with postdoctoral training in preclinical drug development at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York. A/Prof Butler’s research focuses on novel combinatorial approaches to target androgen signalling therapeutically in prostate cancer and biomarker discovery. She also has a strong interest in the development and utilisation of novel preclinical models of disease, including mouse models and human tumour explants.
Adjunct Associate Professor Mary Haines
Adjunct Associate Professor Haines (BA Hons Psych; PhD Epidemiology and Public Health; GAICD) has 20 years of senior experience across the government, corporate, academic and not-for-profit sectors. Mary has held senior executive service and Board positions in the NSW Government, and serves as board member of Sydney Local Health District. Mary is a Senior Adviser at the Sax Institute where she focuses on providing evidence to policy agencies and service delivery organisations about increasing uptake of evidence based care. Most recently, Mary has led an NHMRC-funded implementation trial to test ways to increase evidence based prostate cancer care. Mary Haines is the Founder and Director of Mary Haines Consulting a boutique consultancy specialising in strategy, implementation, research and evaluation. Mary is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney, School of Public Health, Menzies Centre for Health Policy.
Dr Kate Mahon
Dr Kate Mahon is a clinician scientist with a special interest in metastatic prostate cancer. Kate is a Medical Oncologist at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse and is heavily involved in prostate cancer clinical trials. She holds a PhD in mechanisms of chemotherapy resistance in advanced prostate cancer from the University of Sydney and is a post-doctoral prostate cancer research fellow at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research. Her ongoing research is primarily focused on implementing effective biomarkers into clinical practice in advanced prostate cancer. Kate's expertise in biomarker development and prostate cancer biology coupled with her clinical work affords knowledge vital to developing clinically relevant research questions whilst allowing opportunities to translate laboratory findings back to the bedside.
Associate Professor Declan Murphy
Associate Professor Declan Murphy is Consultant Urologist and Director of Genitourinary (GU) Oncology at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne. He is an internationally-recognised key opinion leader in GU Oncology, prostate cancer in particular. Declan has published hundreds of papers and been Chief Investigator on grants worth many millions of dollars. He holds senior editorial positions at the British Journal of Urology International, European Urology, Nature Reviews Urology, and Prostate Cancer & Prostatic Diseases, and is on the board of reviewers for many other journals.
Dr Alan 'Ben' Smith
Dr Ben Smith is the Translational Research Fellow at the Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation (CONCERT), Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research and UNSW. Ben’s research aims to increase the accessibility, equity and sustainability of psychosocial cancer care. His interests include cancer treatment decision-making, clinical trial participation, cancer in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, eHealth, and fear of cancer recurrence. He is the Chief Investigator on the PREPaRE study, which is investigating the information and decision-making needs of men deciding between robotic prostatectomy and radiotherapy for localised prostate cancer. He is also leading the development and piloting of a Question Prompt List (QPL) to aid informed treatment decision making in men diagnosed with localised prostate cancer, funded by the ANZUP Below the Belt Research Fund.
Professor Mark Smyth
Professor Mark Smyth is the Head of Immunology in Cancer and Infection Laboratory at QIMR Berghofer, is an international leader in tumour immunology/immunotherapy and natural killer (NK) cell biology, a Senior Scientist and NHMRC Australia Fellow. He is a Senior Editor at Cancer Research and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cancer Research Institute (USA). A number of his discoveries have led to new clinical trials in cancer immunotherapy with novel targets. He has 440 peer-review papers published or in press, which have attracted a total of more than 33,000 citations.
Associate Professor Scott Williams
Dr Scott Williams is a radiation oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia, and is Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne. He has worked exclusively in uro-oncology his entire career, with a constant focus on prostate cancer research. His research projects include radiation biology, functional imaging, statistical modelling, supportive care and psycho-oncology, and several basic science projects related to the molecular biology and immunology of radiation therapy. He is the chair of the prostate cancer subcommittee of the Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group (ANZUP), which is Australia’s only multidisciplinary collaborative trials group for urological cancers. He is involved in managing multiple research projects, including being Principal Investigator for the ANZUP ENZARAD trial - a global phase III trial of radiation and hormone therapy in high risk prostate cancer. He is a member of several national advisory bodies that have a focus on urogenital malignancies including PCFA, as well as being a long-term member of his institutions’ ethics committee. He serves as a reviewer for many international journals and grant funding bodies, as well as the scientific committee of the Cancer Council of Victoria.
Associate Professor Miranda Xhilaga
The Research Advisory Committee is coordinated by Miranda Xhilaga, Director, Research programs at PCFA since 2009. In addition, she has a honorary adjunct associate professor position at the School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University. Miranda holds an MBBS from Tirana University and a PhD in molecular biology from Monash University. She has an interest in global health and knowledge translation (KT) and has trained as KT Specialist at the University of Toronto. As Director, Research Programs at PCFA, she is responsible for the implementation and development of strategies that increase coordinated prostate cancer research activities nationwide, research evaluation and knowledge transfer. She is a member of the Lead Advisory Group of the Prostate Cancer Survivorship Research Centre and manages the activities of RAC and Pathfinder, the first national prostate cancer register aimed at accelerating the pace of research into prostate cancer via efficient recruitment.
Past members of the Research Advisory Committee:
Professor John Mills AO, Chair (2006 to 2013)
Professor Suzanne Chambers AO (2007 to 2015)
Professor Robert 'Frank' Gardiner AM (2008 to 2014, Interim Chair 2012 to 2014)
Professor Afaf Girgis (2012 to 2018)
Professor Howard Gurney (2007 to 2015)
Associate Professor Susan Henshall (2007 to 2013)
Professor Lisa Horvath (2010 to 2015)
Mr Bruce Kynaston (Consumer Representative, 2010 to 2013)
Professor Peter Leedman (2011 to 2015)
Professor Robert Newton (2007 to 2011)
Professor Richard Pearson (2010 to 2015)
Dr Carmel Pezaro (2016 to 2018)
Dr Ian Roos OAM (Consumer Representative, 2013 to 2014)
Professor Emeritus Pamela J Russell AM (2013-2018)