When you want to speed up the process of finding brain cancer treatments, where do you start? We hunted across Australia for the best person or place that we felt would make a difference. At a brain cancer conference a couple of years ago, we were fortunate to meet the chair Dr McDonald who leads the neuro-oncology lab at the University of NSW. We could not be more impressed with her achievements, talents, knowledge of the latest progressions, positivity and the ability to explain everything to non-science people like us!
All of Dr McDonald’s research objectives align intimately with what is actually needed in the clinic and wider community. She has a sustained track record in neuro-oncology research and& over the past 8 years, Dr McDonald has made significant and rapid advances toward reducing the gap between 'bench' and 'bedside', which will lead to improvements in the survival rates of brain tumour patients. She leads 14 young and dedicated scientists and clinicians all working specifically on brain tumours. The two central themes of the laboratory include (1) understanding patient response (or lack of) to treatment and (2) identifying new therapeutic targets and strategies.
Dr McDonald is the Director of the Steve and Lynette Waugh Brain Tumour Bank, Co-Director of AGOG (Australian Genomics and Clinical Outcomes of Glioma), Chair of the Cancer Institute of NSW Oncology Group (NSWOG): Neuro-oncology, Deputy Director of Translational Research for the Brain Cancer Discovery Center (BCDC) and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) for the Australian Clinical Trials Group, COGNO. Phew! Suddenly I feel very underqualified.