About the Head and Neck Service
The Head and Neck Service at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse brings together over 40 highly skilled medical and allied health professionals including surgeons, radiation and medical oncologists, dental specialists, speech therapists, specialist nurses and dietitians, along with research scientists and data managers. The Service has a national and international reputation for excellence.
The Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute (SHNCI), founded in 2002 by the late Professor Christopher O’Brien AO to provide comprehensive, state-of-the-art treatment to patients with cancers and diseases of the head and neck, is also an important part of the Head and Neck Service providing funding for two head and neck clinical fellows each year.
Read the 2016 Head and Neck Annual Review
Head and neck cancer is a group of more than ten types of cancer that originate in the head and neck region. We have a range of multidisciplinary clinics for the investigation and treatment of head and neck cancers, including in rural and regional New South Wales.
Meet our team
Our team consists of members of the departments of Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology, as well as the allied services.
- Associate Professor Carsten Palme Director, Head and Neck Surgery
- Professor Jonathan Clark AM Director of Head and Neck Research
- Associate Professor Daniel Novakovic Head and Neck Surgeon
- Associate Professor Michael Elliott Head and Neck Surgeon
- Associate Professor Sydney Ch’ng Head and Neck Surgeon and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
- Dr Anthony Clifford Head and Neck Surgeon
- Dr David Leinkram Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
- Dr Hubert Low Head and Neck Surgeon
- Dr James Wykes Director, Fellowship Program
- Dr Jasvir Singh Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
- Dr Kerwin Shannon Head and Neck Surgeon
- Dr Faruque Riffat Head and Neck Surgeon
Oral medicine and dental
Nurses and allied health team
The Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute (SHNCI) is a multi-institutional research organisation led by the head and neck service at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
With the largest database and biobank in Australia, the SHNCI brings together experts from a wide range of disciplines and leading national and international research institutions to improve outcomes for people with head and neck cancer.
The Head and Neck research team is made up of multidisciplinary specialists from the department of Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPA), the RPA Institute of Academic Surgery, the University of Sydney, the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, the Garvan Institute for Medical Research, the University of Technology Sydney and a number of other leading research institutions both nationally and internationally.
The researchers at the SHNCI are world leaders in head and neck cancer research. Our research focus includes mucosal head and neck cancer, complicated local and regional skin cancer, salivary gland cancer and reconstruction following major head and neck surgery.
Some of our current specialised projects are:
Finding a cause for mouth cancer in young patients who have never smoked.
Investigating the genomic profile of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
Advanced Facial Reconstruction techniques and outcomes
Digital planning, 3D printing and implantable devices for head and neck reconstruction
The team is made up of experienced surgeons, pathologists and medical and radiation oncologists who are dedicated to gaining a better understanding of head and neck cancers and their treatment. Their research is uncovering insights into genetic changes of head and neck cancers, better understanding the effects of current and novel treatments and the impact on clinical presentations – all with the aim of improving outcomes for people with head and neck cancer.
Professor Jonathan Clark – Director of Research and Maxillofacial Reconstruction
A/Prof Carsten Palme – Head of Department
A/Prof Ruta Gupta – Oral Cancer, Salivary gland, Molecular and Tissue Based Research
A/Prof Bruce Ashford and Professor Marie Ranson – Skin Cancer Translational Research
A/Prof Michael Elliott – Clinical Research and Thyroid Cancer
Dr Jenny Lee – Clinical Trials
A/Prof Sydney Ch’ng – Facial Reconstruction
Dr James Wykes – Clinical Fellow Research
Dr Hubert Low – SHNCI Database and Facial Nerve Disorder
Dr Raymond Wu – Radiation Oncology
Sr Sarah Davies and Merran Findlay – Nursing and Allied Health
Are you interested in doing a research project with our group? Our research team has extensive experience in research projects ranging from smaller studies (aimed at poster presentations and publications) up to Masters and PhD projects.
Our research projects include both translational and clinical studies and are closely tied with our extensive head and neck database. Research projects involve medical students, junior doctors, registrars, fellows and nursing and allied health staff.
In NSW alone, someone is diagnosed with cancer every 13 minutes. Every dollar you contribute to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse will make a difference to the 57,000 patients who visit us each year.