New Deputy Directors appointed at Children’s Cancer Institute

28 Jul 2023

Children’s Cancer Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Deputy Directors: Associate Professor Paul Ekert, Deputy Director - Research Themes and Associate Professor Mark Cowley, Deputy Director - Enabling Platforms and Collaboration.

The new Deputy Directors will be members of the Institute Leadership Team, working in partnership with others to ensure the Institute’s researchers are best positioned to deliver on the core strategic objectives of advancing knowledge and increasing health impact.

"The primary purpose of these two roles is to support the careers of our research staff and students by pro-actively and strategically seeking, recognising and driving opportunities to achieve our research goals, and mitigating challenges or barriers along the way," said Professor Michelle Haber AM, Executive Director of Children's Cancer Institute.

The successful applicants were chosen by a highly qualified and distinguished interview panel, who deemed the calibre of applicants to be extremely impressive.

The appointment of the new Deputy Directors represents the first milestone in the implementation of the Institute’s new Research Structure, which is pivotal in delivering on one of its four Strategy 2025 focus areas: Research Excellence and Impact. Key aspects of the new research structure include realignment of research groups into three Research Themes, and the creation of five Enabling Platforms to facilitate researcher access to cutting-edge resources and research capabilities.

"This new research structure will provide our researchers with a place to grow and do great science that makes a difference," said Professor Haber.

Associate Professor Cowley conveyed his excitement at the new role. "I am energised to take on the responsibility of developing a brand new cross-cutting research structure that helps researchers and clinicians perform world-class research through collaboration, harnessing new technologies and realising the untapped potential of the vast bioresources, data and expertise at the Institute."

Associate Professor Ekert added, “The changing research structure of the Institute recognises how the focus of our research is evolving and the important roles that the many talented and capable young researchers at the Institute will play in shaping our future. I look forward to championing our new Research Themes, and helping our people develop and grow.”

(left to right) Professor Michelle Haber AM, Associate Professor Mark Cowley, Professor Murray Norris AM and Associate Professor Paul Ekert.

Associate Professor Ekert, who is the Group Leader of the Translational Tumour Biology Group and co-Director of the Personalised Medicine Theme at the Institute, will have primary responsibility for Research Themes. Associate Professor Cowley, who is Group Leader of the Computational Biology Group, will be responsible for the Enabling Platforms. Both leaders will continue in their current roles as well taking on these new responsibilities.

The Institute’s current Deputy Director, Professor Murray Norris AM, who has served in this role with distinction for more than 20 years, is stepping down from this position but will continue as Group Leader of the Molecular Oncology Group at the Institute.