professor david ziegler

Q: What is your role in the Randwick Health & Innovation Precinct (RHIP) team?
A:Currently, I wear a few different hats. I am a paediatric oncologist at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, where I lead the neuro-oncology and clinical trials programs in the Kids Cancer Centre.
I am also Group Leader of the Brain Tumour Group at the Children’s Cancer Institute, where my team focuses on the development of novel therapies for children with brain cancer.
In addition, I’m Director of the Kids Cancer Alliance, which brings together all paediatric oncology researchers around NSW with the aim of fostering collaboration and translational research.

Q: What attracted you to this type of work?
A:When I did my clinical training in paediatric oncology, the field was buzzing about the new wonder drug Gleevec with extraordinary results seen in adult chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Every textbook chapter I read ended with a comment about targeted therapies having the potential to change outcomes for children with cancer.
So, I headed off to Dana Farber in Boston to do research on targeted therapies for childhood cancer, and fell into the world of brain tumours, where

Q: What excites you most about the Precinct?
A: The Longwood Medical Area in Boston was like a big city – filled with hospitals, research institutes, and academic organisations all focussed on medical research – attracting the best minds in the world to go and work there.
I think we have a real opportunity to build a similar environment here, and we will know we have succeeded when we are attracting the best talent from the rest of the world, including the US and Europe.

Q: What's your favourite quote?
A: “It’s not impossible, it just hasn’t been done yet”.
Because what seems impossible today becomes standard of care tomorrow.

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