The John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence in AGITG Research

Pictured – 2020 John Zalcberg OAM Award Recipient Professor Niall Tebbutt

The John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence in AGITG Research recognises a member of the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) who has made a significant and outstanding leadership contribution to AGITG research over a sustained period.

Nominations may recognise the contributions of investigators, research staff and lay members of the AGITG including consumers.

2021 Recipient: Professor Mark Smithers

Professor Mark Smithers received the award at the AGITG’s 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting, held virtually on Friday 15 October.

Previous recipients

Professor Niall Tebbutt, 2020

Professor Val Gebski, 2019

Professor John Simes, 2018

Professor Michael Findlay, 2017

Professor David Goldstein, 2016

Mr Dan Kent, 2015

About John Zalcberg

Professor John Zalcberg OAM was a founder and past Chair of the Board of the AGITG. He served in the Chair role for over 18 years until May 2014.

He was the Director, Division of Cancer Medicine, at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia for 17 years prior to recently taking up the position of Professor of Cancer Research at Monash University.

After earning a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Melbourne and a PhD in cancer immunology, he served as Director of Medical Oncology at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and as Director of Cancer Services at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre.  

He was a founder of the Lorne Cancer Conference and a past Board Member of Cancer Trials Australia. He is the current Co-Chair of the Cancer Drugs Alliance and Interim Chair of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance.  A past Board Member of the NSW Cancer Institute, past President of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, and a past Member of the Consultative Council of the Victorian Cancer Agency, he has received a Medal of the Order of Australia Award (OAM), the 2011 Cancer Achievement Award from the Medical Oncology Group of Australia and is the recipient of the 2014 Tom Reeve Award awarded by the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia.

Professor Zalcberg’s clinical research interests include gastro-intestinal cancer and health care outcomes. He has published more than 230 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He was a Principal Investigator for the EORTC advanced GIST trial in Australia and continues an active involvement in trials in this disease as well as other GI cancers. He continues an active clinical practice in GI cancer.

Submissions close

Monday 6 September 9AM AEST


To be eligible, nominees must:

  • have made a significant and outstanding leadership contribution to AGITG research over a sustained period;
  • be an AGITG member; and
  • be nominated by two AGITG members.


Each nomination must include:

  • a summary of the nominee’s contributions to the AGITG research program (maximum 1,000 words);
  • an evaluation of the impact of this work on GI cancer practice (maximum 1,000 words); and
  • biographical outline of the nominee.

Nomination of clinicians must include:

  • a list of the nominee’s major relevant publications; and
  • letters of support from two individuals outside the nominee’s institution (where applicable). These letters should contain a critical appraisal of the nominee’s contributions to the AGITG research program.

The recipient will receive:

  • Award Trophy
  • Sponsored attendance at the AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting (travel, registration and two nights’ accommodation)

The recipient will have an opportunity to deliver an address (up to 20 minutes) at the AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting in 2021 highlighting appropriate aspects of their area of interest, with the option to also be published in abstract form on the AGITG website and in the AGITG Annual Report.


For more information about the John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence in AGITG Research contact the Chief Executive Officer, Russell Conley.

Phone: (+612) 9562 5072