The University of Newcastle

Professor Xu Dong Zhang

For more than 15 years, Dr Xu Dong Zhang has focused on translational melanoma research with an overall aim to overcome resistance of metastatic melanoma to treatment. He is currently a Professor heading the Melanoma Research Laboratory (Oncology and Immunology Unit) of the University of Newcastle (UoN)/Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital (CMN) that consists of 3 postdoctoral researchers, 2 research assistants, 2 visiting academics, 6 PhD students, 1 laboratory manager, 1 technical officer, and 1 administrative officer.

Professor Zhang has published more than 80 manuscripts in his research career. The H Factor (Index) of his publications is currently 31. In addition, He has presented my work in a large number of international and national conferences and institutional seminars, with many attendances as an invited speaker. As a chief investigator, He has attracted a large sum of funding for his research.

In the past 3 years since, he was awarded an NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2011), and successfully renewed, for the third consecutive time, a Cancer Institute NSW (CINSW) Fellowship (2011) that is now awarded in the form of a top-up to the NHMRC Fellowship. He is a chief investigator of a translational melanoma research program grant awarded in 2011 by CINSW, and, as Chief investigator A, he has received 2 NHMRC project grants and 4 Cancer Council NSW project grants since 2009.

In addition, He is a co-chief investigator of another NHMRC project grant and a chief investigator of a number of competitive grants from other funding bodies. Professor Zhang’s research has drawn considerable attention in the cancer research community worldwide and his contribution to melanoma research is highly regarded nationally and internationally. He regularly review manuscripts for high impact journals including Cancer Research and Oncogene, and assess grant applications for international and national funding bodies, such as Medical Research Council UK and NHMRC. He was a Grant Review Panel (GRP) member of NHMRC in 2011 and a a panel member of Cancer Australia in 2013.

His research has also drawn extensive attention from the general public, with the highlight being 8 interviews by media including the ABC in the past 3 years. His research excellence has enabled me to establish productive collaborations with other researchers, both within academia and commercial organizations. In addition, I provide regular scientific consultancies not only locally and nationally, but also to cancer researchers of a number of highly ranked universities and institutes in China. He has proven himself to be highly competent in supervision of research high degree students and junior researchers. Since he received my first conjoint appointment in 2005 from the University of Newcastle, two PhD students have completed their studies in excellent fashion under my supervision. During the past 3 years, two postdoctoral researchers have successfully obtained NHMRC Postdoctoral Training Fellowship under his supervision.

At the current time, he is the principal supervisor of 5 PhD candidates, and a co-supervisor of another two. Professor Zhang is a Co-Director of the Priority Research Centre (PRC) for Cancer of the Faulty of Health, and a Deputy Director of the Cancer Program of Hunter Medical Research Institute. He is also a member of various scientific and administering committees, including the HMRI Research Council, the Research Council of Hunter Translational Cancer Research Unit, and the Analytical and Biomolecular Research Facility Advisory Group of University of Newcastle.

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