Vanessa (Ness) Tyrrell


Theme Head, Clinical Translation and Program Leader


Research theme

Personalised Medicine

Research group

Zero Childhood Cancer


Vanessa (Ness) Tyrrell joined Children’s Cancer Institute in 2015 to drive the development and implementation of the national Zero Childhood Cancer Program (ZERO). After leading the Personalised Medicine Research Theme from its inception in 2019, in 2023 she was appointed Head of the Institute’s Clinical Translation Research Theme.

As Head of ZERO, Ness has overseen the inception and establishment of the program and is now focussed on building it into a sustainable permanent national precision medicine platform.

‘The aim throughout ZERO has been to lay the foundations of an ongoing precision medicine program within the Australian health system,’ she says. ‘I want to know that all children with cancer will have equitable and timely access to precision medicine here in Australia today, tomorrow, always.’

With over 30 years’ experience working across all aspects of diagnostic genetics, Ness is best known for her leadership in and representation of the Australian human genetics community. She has actively contributed to government and professional advisory committees and is a past President of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA).

Ness has extensive experience in oncology, clinical, and prenatal diagnostic genetics service delivery in public and private sectors, commercial industry leadership in Asia Pacific, laboratory accreditation, policy and leadership development. This diverse background brings a unique wealth of expertise to tackle challenges in the clinical application of rapidly emerging genomic technologies for better health outcomes, and she actively contributes to research projects aiming to better understand these challenges including cancer predisposition, psychosocial, bioethics, consent, and genomic testing implementation.


PubMed list


2023 - Good Design Award, Best in class (Service Design Category): ZeroDash: accelerating precision medicine for children with cancer

2021 - Genomic medicine year in review: top 10 key advances in applying genomics to clinical care (for PMID:33020650)

2020 - NSW Health Award for the Zero Childhood Cancer Program

2020 - Health Research and Innovation Award of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network’s 2020 Annual Quality and Innovation Awards for ZERO

2019 - Minderoo Foundation inaugural Eliminate Cancer Initiative 2019 Collaboration Award for ZERO

2018 - The Kids Cancer Project Science Project of the Year – Zero Childhood Cancer

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