Our People

The Council

The Council is responsible for monitoring the conduct and progress of CONCERT and to ensure the effective and efficient operation of CONCERT in relation to its purpose and objectives. The Council constitutes the following leaders from a multitude of disciplines in cancer. They are:


Professor Michael Barton, CONCERT Director

Background: Michael Barton OAM is a radiation oncologist by trade. He is a committed academic and medical administrator who has achieved an international reputation in radiation oncology. He has a number of research and academic appointments including Scientia Professor, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney; Director of the SPHERE Cancer Clinical Academic Group as well as Director of the Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes Research & Evaluation (CCORE) group, Liverpool Hospital.

Expertise: Professor Barton is recognised internationally for making major contributions to research in cancer services delivery and to academic and professional education in the field of radiation oncology. He brings exceptional leadership skills to CONCERT.


Professor Marie Ranson, CONCERT Deputy Director

Background: Marie Ranson is a molecular biologist by trade. She is a distinguished academic and research leader. She has been highly successful in securing competitive grant funding and her research outputs have achieved an international reputation in her chosen discipline of molecular biology.

Expertise: Professor Ranson provides her special expertise in research commercialisation, having pioneered the capability to perform pre-clinical, commercially orientated drug development within her laboratory. She has successfully led her team to develop a package of preclinical data for chemotherapeutic drugs accepted for review by the FDA. Her expertise in facilitating the translation of chemotherapeutic drugs to clinical trials strengthens CONCERT’s research programs.  


Dr Ben Smith, CONCERT Deputy Director

Background: Ben Smith is a behavioral scientist by trade. He is CONCERT’s Translational Research Fellow where he brings his wealth of knowledge in moving evidence into practice.

Expertise: Dr Smith is currently working on implementing strategies to increase clinical trial participation by cancer patients typically underrepresented in trials, such as those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD). He also has a keen interest in the potential of web-based interventions to aid adjustment to cancer, particularly for survivors who may be reluctant to seek out traditional forms of psychological treatment, due to their stigma, cost, and inconvenience. For CONCERT, Dr Smith is currently working on eHealth interventions to support cancer survivorship and treating fear of cancer recurrence.


Professor Geoff Delaney

Background: Geoff Delaney is a radiation oncologist by trade. He is the Director of Cancer Services for the South West Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD) and Director of Liverpool Cancer Centre.

Expertise: Professor Delaney is a highly experienced clinician and researcher, with his main areas of expertise being in breast cancer, radiation oncology, service planning and health services research. His numerous committee responsibilities including for the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, NSW Health and Cancer Institute NSW is testimony to his abilities as a capable and astute administrator with exceptional leadership skills. Professor Delaney strengthens CONCERT’s collaboration and integration with clinical cancer services for better patient outcomes.


Professor Afaf Girgis

Background: Afaf Girgis is a behavioral scientist by trade. She has worked for over 27 years in cancer control and psycho-oncology. She is a committed academic and exceptional leader, who has achieved an international reputation in behavioral science and psycho-oncology.

Expertise: She has extensively researched and published in areas including prevention and early detection of cancer, development and psychometric testing of measures to assess cancer patients’, caregivers’ and health care professionals’ unmet needs, developed and evaluated strategies for improving psychosocial outcomes in clinical practice using rigorous research designs, and undertaken research and teaching in communication skills of health professionals. Professor Girgis strengthens CONCERT’s evidence to practice portfolio.


Professor Les Bokey

Background: Les Bokey is a colorectal surgeon by trade. He is Research Director for the SWSLHD and Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research. He is also the Professor of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Western Sydney University and Foundation Professor of Surgery, amongst many other prestigious appointments.

Expertise: Professor Bokey is an international authority on colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.  He has been awarded the OAM for service to medicine as a colorectal surgeon and establishment of surgical education programs, research, and medical administration. For CONCERT, Professor Bokey provides exceptional leadership and expertise in colorectal cancer.


Professor C. Soon Lee

Background: C. Soon Lee is a pathologist by trade. He is a clinician scientist and academic pathologist who has achieved an international reputation in his chosen discipline of Pathology. He has a number of research and academic appointments which is testimony to his abilities as a capable and astute administrator and as a distinguished academic and teacher.

Expertise: Professor Lee’s expertise and technical innovations, especially in cancer pathology, are recognised both national and internationally and he is an effective teacher of many young pathologists and researchers from both Australia and overseas. Professor Lee provides leadership and expertise to CONCERT’s biobanking program.


Professor Desmond Yip

Background: Desmond Yip is a medical oncologist by trade. He is the Clinical Director of Medical Oncology at The Canberra Hospital, Professor at the ANU Medical School and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. He was also the director of the Canberra Hospital Medical Oncology Research Unit.

Expertise: Professor Yip’s main clinical and research interests are in the area of gastrointestinal oncology and development of biological agents. He also has subspecialty interests in renal cell carcinoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumours. Professor Yip strengthens CONCERT’s collaborative networks and its clinical trials portfolio.


A/Professor Kevin Spring

Background: Kevin Spring is a molecular scientist by trade. He is CONCERT’s Translational Research Fellow where he brings his knowledge in colorectal polyps and cancer, DNA damage recognition and repair, and in the clinical utility of circulating tumour cells (CTCs).

Expertise: A/Professor Spring is the founding convener for CONCERT’s Thomas Ashworth CTC Symposium and Australian CTC Society. He leads research into colorectal polyps and cancer and strengthens CONCERT’s molecular biology portfolio.


Professor Lorraine Chantrill

Background: Lorraine Chantrill is a medical oncologist by trade. She is a distinguished academic and research leader and is the Clinical Director of Medical Oncology at Wollongong Hospital.

Expertise: Professor Chantrill is the Principal Investigator on several clinical trials in gastrointestinal and lung cancers and is nationally and internationally recognised for her expertise as evidenced by her directorship of the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) and Upper GI working party of the AGITG. She is also a member of the Data Safety Monitoring Board of the Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group and an executive member of the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative (APGI). Professor Chantrill strengthens CONCERT’s clinical trials program.