Executive Officers

joan heath.jpg


President: Joan Heath Ph.D
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia
Scientific expertise: Disease modelling, cancer, gastrointestinal disease

Joan Heath is a laboratory head in the Development and Cancer Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. Prior to her current appointment, she spent 18 years at the Melbourne Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and she continues to be a Member and receive funding from this Institute. Joan’s primary research goal is to improve outcomes for patients with colon cancer. She turned to zebrafish to discover genes that are indispensable for intestinal development, arguing that such genes are also likely to be critical for the development and progression of colon tumors. Her laboratory’s positional cloning of a collection of zebrafish intestinal mutants has drawn attention to a group of essential cellular genes (encoding transcription factors, rRNA and mRNA processing factors and nuclear pore components) that are required for the rapid growth of the digestive organs during zebrafish development. Her lab is currently determining whether these genes represent bona fide targets for novel cancer therapies using zebrafish and mouse cancer models, and analysis of human cancer transcriptomes.

Contact Joan Here

Vice President

Graham Lieschke M.B., B.S., B.Med.Sc., Ph.D., F.R.A.C.P.
Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, and Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia
Scientific expertise: Haematopoiesis – benign and malignant, infectious disease, innate immunity, clinical care/medicine

Graham Lieschke is an Australian clinician/scientist. His current appointments are as Clinical Haematologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and as Professorial Fellow / NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University in Melbourne. Since 1997, his research laboratory has been at the forefront of using zebrafish models to understand white blood cell development, function and disease. Current projects use zebrafish models to study the transcriptional regulation of myeloid development and diseases involving leukocytes such as inflammation, infection and leukemia. Prof Lieschke has held fellowships from the Cancer Council of Victoria, Howard Hughes Medicial Institute, Wellcome Trust and NHMRC and significant research funding from NIH and NHMRC. He has held multiple leadership roles in the international zebrafish research and hematology communities. He is also an accomplished organist and conductor, specializing in the music of JS Bach.

Contact Graham Here
david lang.jpg

Vice President in waiting

David Langenau Ph.D

Massachusetts General Hospital
Scientific expertise: Cancer and Stem Cells



Leonard Zon M.D.

Boston Children’s Hospital, USA
Scientific expertise: Cancer, hematopoiesis, disease modelling



Liz Patton PH.D. MRC

Human Genetics Unit, UK
Scientific expertise: Cancer, disease modelling, drug-discovery