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Haematology Department

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Our Haematologists

Ilona Cunningham

Associate Professor Ilona Cunningham MBBS, FRACP
Head of Haematology

Ilona Cunningham is Head of Haematology at Concord Hospital and leads a partnership of eight Haematologists. She is one of a number of cancer specialists, who has worked tirelessly to establish the Concord Cancer Centre and is a vocal advocate for holistic, multidisciplinary care for cancer patients in the local community. She is lobbying hard for a state-of-the-art building, which will ensure cutting edge clinical care for cancer patients, including radiotherapy and clinical trials. She is a member of the Medical Staff Council Executive and past Chair of the Medical Staff Council at Concord and continues to advocate an extensive redevelopment for Concord Hospital, to benefit all patients. In her role as Head of Haematology and Board Member of the ANZAC Research Institute, she is strongly committed to supporting basic, translational and clinical, ie. bench to bedside research, to enable doctors to deliver world-class care to patients.

Ilona trained in Melbourne and at Stanford University in California as a post-doctoral fellow in Haematology. She is a fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians and a member of a number of organisations, including the American Society of Haematology. Ilona has a long-standing and active interest in clinical research in Myelodysplasia and AML in elderly patients, Myeloproliferative Neoplasms, CML and other haematologic malignancies as well as ITP.

Judith Trotman

Associate Professor Judith Trotman
MBChB, FRACP, FRCPA, Spec Cert in Clinical Research (Oncology)
Director Clinical Research Unit

Judith Trotman has trained in Auckland, Sydney and France. She is the Director of the Haematology Clinical Research Unit and a senior staff specialist with particular expertise in the management of blood cancers, specifically lymphoid malignancies. Judith and her colleagues have built one of the largest clinical research units in Australia with a broad portfolio of trials across the spectrum of blood disorders. She is a member of the clinical trials collaborative group, the Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group (ALLG) Scientific Advisory Committee and the Chair of their Low Grade Lymphoma group. She is the ALLG Chief Investigator for several national Lymphoma trials including a study delivering PET-adapted precision medicine to patients with Hodgkin Lymphoma, published in 2016 in the leading New England Journal of Medicine. She is an author of the international guidelines in staging and response assessment of Lymphoma and leads an international collaboration demonstrating the predictive power of PET assessment in Follicular Lymphoma (Journal of Clinical Oncology and Lancet Haematology). She leads a study designed to optimise dosing of melphalan in Myeloma stem cell transplantation. Committed to cross-centre collaboration in recruitment to trials across the broad spectrum of rare haematologic malignancies, she is co-inventor of ClinTrial Refer – the free to download App now used to increase patient cross-referral across numerous cancer trial portfolios in Australia and New Zealand. She was awarded Local Woman of the Year for Drummoyne in 2016 under the NSW Women of the Year Awards for her local and international leadership in clinical research for blood cancer patients.

Vivien Chen

Dr Vivien Chen
MBBS (University Medal, University of Sydney), BA PhD, FRACP, FRCPA

Vivien Chen completed her PhD at the University of NSW on the Molecular Mechanism of Tissue Factor Activation. Her post-doctoral fellowship with Professors Bruce and Barbara Furie at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston USA focused on intravital models of thrombosis. Her clinical interests are Thrombosis and bleeding disorders, Haemoglobinopathies, iron metabolism, Lymphoma and Leukaemia. She runs the specialised Thrombosis Clinic at Concord Hospital. Her clinical research focuses on venous thrombo-embolism, in particular, on the predictors and management of cancer associated thrombosis.

Dr Chen also heads the Platelet, Thrombosis and Cancer Research Lab at the ANZAC Research Institute, which works closely with the Vascular Biology Group. Her work focuses on platelet function in cardiovascular thrombotic disorders and the interface between malignancy and blood clotting. Her current research focus is the biology of the procoagulant platelets and the involvement of cell death pathways in the formation of platelet subsets. The translational focus is on the predictive and prognostic role of these platelets in vascular biology, as well as strategies to reduce the impact of these pathological platelets in disease states such as coronary artery disease, stroke, myeloproliferative disease and sepsis.

Vivien Chen is also Chair of the Sydney Platelet Research Consortium, which was formed in late 2016. She was awarded Local Woman of the Year for Drummoyne in 2017, under the NSW Women of the Year Awards, for her dedication to her patients and to Concord Hospital.

Jane Estell

Dr Jane Estell
B.Med (Honours), FRACP, FRCPA

Jane Estell graduated in Medicine with Honours from Newcastle University in 1988 before training in Haematology Clinical and Pathology (Haematology) at Prince of Wales/Prince Henry and Westmead Hospitals in Sydney. During this time she was actively involved in Clinical Research in areas including Thrombosis and Haemostasis, as well as malignant Haematology (Lymphoma and Leukaemia) and allogeneic transplantation. After a time in Western Sydney at Westmead, Blacktown and Liverpool Hospitals she joined the Concord Haematology Unit in 2004. With a passion for clinical research, she is principle investigator in clinical studies into Follicular Lymphoma, CLL and is responsible for the Multiple Myeloma clinical trial portfolio at Concord Hospital Haematology Research Unit. She has extensive experience and interest in all areas of malignant and non-malignant haematology as well as teaching medical students, junior doctors and nursing staff.

Robin Gasiorowski

Dr Robin Gasiorowski

Robin Gasiorowski completed medical training at Cambridge University and University College London before moving to Australia in 2004. Following specialist haematology training at Royal Prince Alfred and Concord hospitals he now works as a clinical and laboratory haematologist looking after a broad range of patients with both malignant and non-malignant Haematological conditions. He has a particular interest in Leukaemia and Lymphoma and is currently completing a PhD through Sydney University, developing novel antibody therapies for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. As a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney he is involved in training medical students and junior doctors at all stages of their careers. He also has a strong interest in clinical research, particularly in the development of novel immune therapies for patients with blood cancers.

Emma Verner

Dr Emma Verner

Emma Verner is a clinical and laboratory Haematologist who joined the Concord Haematology team as a Staff Specialist in 2012. She is from Sydney originally but completed her Haematology training in Melbourne at The Austin Hospital and the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Her clinical interests are in malignant Haematology, in particular Lymphoma, Leukaemia and autologous bone marrow transplant. She has diverse clinical experience in the diagnosis and management of both malignant and non-malignant Haematological conditions. She has a strong interest in clinical research and is currently one of the chief investigators on a national Australasian Leukaemia and Lymphoma Group study of diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma therapy in older patients. She is the medical director of the Bone Marrow Transplant and Apheresis Unit at Concord Hospital. She believes in individualising patient care and providing not only the best treatment options available, but the support required through every stage of the patient journey.

Nicole Wong Doo

Dr Nicole Wong Doo
MBBS (Hons), FRACP, FRCPA, Gcert (ClinTeach)

Nicole Wong Doo is a clinical and laboratory Haematologist and Senior Lecturer/Coordinator of Medical Education at the University of Sydney's Concord Clinical School. She completed her Haematology training in Sydney, followed by a fellowship at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Melbourne. Her major research interest is in investigating the role of DNA methylation in Multiple Myeloma and Non Hodgkin Lymphoma as part of her PhD project with the University of Melbourne. She is committed to participating in clinical trial research and is involved in epidemiological studies aimed at evaluating and improving patient outcomes in the community setting.

Alessandra Bianchi

Dr Alessandra Bianchi
B. Med (honours), FRCPA

Alessandra Bianchi graduated in medicine from the University of Milan in 1981 and subsequently specialised in Haematology at the Institute of Haematology in Rome before taking a position at the University of Rome in the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit of the Institute of Haematology. She trained in London with Dr Malcolm Brenner in the late 1980s working on the role of tumour necrosis factor in B cell malignancy survival. She moved to Sydney in 1990 and began work as a Haematological pathologist at Royal Prince Alfred and Concord Hospitals. She was appointed as a staff specialist at Concord Hospital in 2004 and has an interest in transfusion medicine, in coagulation and in the investigation of prothrombotic disorders. She is head of the Haematology Laboratory and Transfusion Services at Concord Hospital.