Announcing the appointment of the James Stewart Chair of Surgery, The Royal Melbourne Hospital

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Christobel Saunders AO to the prestigious leadership position of the James Stewart Chair of Surgery, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, a position established in 1955.

Prof Christobel Saunders

Professor Saunders is one of Australia’s most prominent research-orientated cancer surgeons who, for more than 30 years, has evaluated the efficacy and utility of therapy for early breast cancer. Her contributions to breast cancer research include psychosocial, translational, health services research and clinical trials of new treatments. She is also active in research in other cancers, with a particular interest in value based healthcare. She is currently Professor of Surgical Oncology and Director of the Cancer and Palliative Care Research and Evaluation Unit at the University of Western Australia, and a consultant surgeon at St John of God Hospital Subiaco and Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Professor Saunders has over 200 publications including more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, two book chapters and one book in the past 5 years. She sits on the boards of a number of cancer organisations including Breast Cancer Trials. Professor Saunders is closely involved in strategic planning and management of cancer services in Western Australia as author of the WA Health Cancer Services Framework and as first Acting Director, WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network, past President of the Cancer Council WA, past President of the Breast Surgical Society of ANZ, and nationally as past Advisory Council member of organisations such as Cancer Australia. She is the Inaugural Chair of the Board of the state Health Service pathology provider, PathWest Laboratory Medicine. Professor Saunders is also Chief Medical Officer of the multi-award winning biomedical start-up company OncoRes.

In recognition of her sustained career excellence and innovation, Professor Saunders has been publicly acknowledged through numerous awards and honours including Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), Uccio Querci della Rovere Award, International Women’s Day WA Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee and WA Scientist of the Year.

In her role as the James Stewart Chair of Surgery, Professor Saunders will bring her extensive expertise in education, research and clinical practice to the Department of Surgery and across surgical specialties at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH). A key focus for Professor Saunders will be continuing to foster excellence in surgery within the University and RMH.

Professor Saunders will be relocating to Melbourne before the end of the year and we look forward to introducing her more widely across the University, RMH and our partners. We are delighted to share this news, and see Christobel’s appointment as a major coup for the University and RMH.