2017 John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence

2017 John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence

Pictured: Prof. Tim Price, Chair AGITG Board, Award winner – Michael Findlay and John Zalcberg OAM.

At the 2017, AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting the John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence in AGITG Clinical Trials Research was presented to Professor Michael Findlay. Professor Findlay’s work in the area of gastro-intestinal cancer research throughout Australasia has been well recognised for his focus on patients.

The John Zalcberg OAM Award recognises a member of the AGITG who has made significant and outstanding leadership contributions to AGITG clinical trials research over a sustained period. Professor Michael Findlay has for over 20 years been a devoted advocate of research driven cancer care. He was a founding member of the AGITG, participating in the early conversations around improved care for people with gastro-intestinal cancer, when the group was a network of investigators, during the 90’s.

Professor Findlay’s impact on GI cancer practice cannot be underestimated. His publication and grants record are of a very high calibre. He is a global key opinion leader in upper GI cancer; in fact he was involved in the initial trials of Epirubicin, cisplatin and continuous infusion 5-fluorouracil (ECF) as neoadjuvant chemotherapy in gastro-oesophageal cancer during his fellowship years in the UK which led onto ECF being the standard of care for advanced and resectable gastric cancer for over a decade, with practice only changing this year for resectable gastric cancer.

Professor Findlay has acted as Principal Investigator on several significant AGITG international studies that have considerably improved and changed medical practice in GI cancer. This work established the processes for international collaboration which have been the foundation for many years of the AGITG success in conducting such trials.

Professor Findlay’s collaborations over the years, has demonstrated his capacity for ‘building bridges’ between multiple stakeholders. In particular his approach to building a bridge ‘across the ditch’ representing New Zealand’s best interest in international clinical trials, has resulted in improving the  quality and output for AGITG research projects and treatment of patients.

“The AGITG has benefited greatly from Professor Findlay’s leadership contributions over many years which have in turn benefited patients with gastro-intestinal cancer across the globe,” said Professor Tim Price, Chair GI Cancer Institute. “It is an honour to present Professor Findlay with this award.”

 “I am deeply honoured to be a recipient of this award,” said Professor Findlay. “To be thought of by my colleagues to have made a contribution to improving treatments for GI cancer I consider as high praise and I am most humbled to be recognised by this group of dedicated and determined medical practitioners.”