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Biographical entry Sutherland, Robert Lyndsay (Rob) (1947 - 2012)


18 July 1947
Gore, New Zealand
10 October 2012
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Medical researcher


Robert Sutherland was internationally recognised for his research into the prevention and treatment of cancer. He pioneered the application of molecular and cellular biology approaches in translating research discoveries into treatment regimes, and made significant contributions to understanding the pathophysiology and molecular basis of a range of cancers. This knowledge was applied to discovery, validation and development of new biomarkers of disease phenotype, prognosis and response to therapy. Sutherland was Director of the Cancer Research Program at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research for over 20 years. He was a driving force behind the establishment of the Kinghorn Cancer Centre where treatments are based on the latest biomarker-assisted diagnostics and individually tailored treatments. Sutherland was also a key member of the Pancreatic Cancer Group, from which emerged the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative. He was on the editorial boards of the Journal for Steroid Biochemical and Molecular Biology, Endocrine Carcinogenesis and other journals. His published output was over 300 papers.



? - 2012
Career position - Inaugural Director, Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Garvan Institute for Medical Research, St Vincent's Hospital
Education - BAgSc, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Education - MAgSc, University of Canterbury
Life event - Migrated to Australia
Education - PhD, Australian National University
1974 - 1976
Career position - Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department de Chimie Biologique, Faculté de Médecine de Paris-Sud, France
1976 - 1977
Career position - Research Scientist, CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research
1978 - 1984
Career position - Senior Research Fellow, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Sydney
1983 - 1987
Career position - Director, Australian Society for Medical Research
1984 - 1985
Career position - Principal Research Fellow, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Sydney
1984 - 1985
Career position - Reader, Cancer Medicine, University of Sydney
1985 - 1987
Career position - Senior Research Fellow, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
1985 - 1989
Career position - Head of Cell Biology Group, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Career position - President, Australian Society for Medical Research
1988 - 1990
Career position - Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of New South Wales
1989 - 2012
Career position - Professor and Director, Cancer Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
1990 - 2012
Career position - Senior Principal Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Council
1991 - 2012
Career position - Professor, School of Medicine, University of New South Wales
Award - DSc (honoris causa), Lincoln University, New Zealand
Award - Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Medical Research, Ramaciotti Foundations
Award - Centenary Medal for service to Australian society and science in molecular and cellular biology
2002 - 2012
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of Science
Award - Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to medicine as an international contributor to the research of cancer, the development of Australia's research capacity and through leadership roles in advisory bodies.
Award - Premier's Award for Outstanding Cancer Researcher, Cancer Institute of New South Wales
2011 - 2012
Award - Award -Honorary Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

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Published resources

Newspaper Articles

  • Cairncross, Lynne, 'Robert Sutherland, 1947-2012: cancer work recognised worldwide', Sydney Morning Herald, 24 January 2012. Details

Online Resources

Helen Cohn