Corporate Governance

CTA is governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation, the Corporate Governance and the management of the Chief Executive Officer. The Board comprises eight members, five of whom are nominated by the member institutions, and three who are independently appointed by the Board.

Associate Professor Jayesh Desai is the current Board Chairperson, overseeing the management and strategic direction of CTA.

Board members bring a mix of skills required to contribute to the strategic direction of an organisation acting as a service provider in the field of clinical trial management.

Chairperson: Professor Jayesh Desai

Metropolitan Sites Representative

Jayesh has extensive experience in translational research applied to early drug development, particularly in sarcomas and in colorectal cancer. He heads the Phase I/Early Drug Development program, is Deputy-Director of the Parkville Cancer Clinical Trials Unit (PCCTU), leads Peter Mac’s efforts in its formal engagements with Industry Alliances and Partnerships and has recently been appointed as the Associate Director Clinical Research at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Jayesh has been the Chair of the Cancer Trials Australia (CTA) Phase I Drug Development Program for a number of years, and has been Principal Investigator on 30 clinical trials over the last 5 years including 25 Phase I and 1st in human trials. These have been both investigator initiated, as well as collaborative trials with Pharma and Biotechs, across a broad array of agents including kinase inhibitors and novel immuno-oncology agents/combinations. He has authored/co-authored approximately 130 publications in journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, The Lancet and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Associate Professor Zee Wan Wong

Metropolitan Sites Representative

Dr Zee Wan Wong commenced her role as the Head of Oncology Unit at Peninsula Health in mid- August 2017. She also holds a joint appointment as Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor with Monash University. Zee Wan is a member of the Monash Comprehensive Cancer Consortium Governance as well as the Cancer and Blood Disease Executive Committees. From July 2018, she will be appointed as Joint Clinical Director of Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services (SMICS). She is currently a Clinical Advisor for Cancer Council Victoria Clinical Network and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Rural Health, University of Melbourne Medical School.

Zee Wan obtained her postgraduate medical qualifications at the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom (Edinburgh) before completing her Medical Oncology fellowship in the United States of America in 2003. Thereafter, she was a Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist at the National Cancer Centre, Singapore. She obtained her Medical Oncology Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2013 when she came to Australia. More recently, she completed a Specialist Certificate in Clinical Leadership at The University of Melbourne in 2017.

Previously, Zee Wan was the founding Clinical Director of Oncology Unit at Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton from 2012 to 2017 as well as the Clinical Director of West Hume Regional Integrated Cancer Services. Her team set up the Oncology Clinical Trial unit within GV Health where they have become a CTA member site and run multiple oncology clinical trials including international phase III studies now through the Velos platform supported by CTA. She was the lead applicant for the Victorian Lung Cancer Redesign Project where Hume was one of two regional sites in Victoria to have been awarded. Zee Wan was also the co-applicant for the Victorian Regional Cancer Clinical Trials Network project awarded by Cancer Council Victoria. In addition, she was the principal investigator for various oncology clinical trials and had actively represented Regional Victoria in several cancer improvement initiatives. She regularly lectures at the Living with Cancer and Cancer Survivorship workshops.

Peninsula Health has been awarded with the Victorian Cancer Survivorship Grant this year where Zee Wan is the lead applicant. She is a member of the AGITG Lower GI Working Party as well as the Prostate Cancer Subcommittee of ANZUP. Furthermore, she also holds memberships with ASCO, ESMO, MOGA, COSA, BCT, ALTG and ANZGOG. She has numerous peer-reviewed publications and presented at national as well as international oncology conferences.

Colin Nugent


Colin joined the CTA Board in June 2015.

Colin is a current member of the Aust & NZ Inst of Chartered Accountants and owns a consulting practice offering strategic and financial services to the healthcare sector.

Colin is a “Big 4” trained Chartered Accountant, graduated from the University of Cape Town and gaining his CA (SA) membership. He obtained his Australian ACA accreditation in 1983.

Colin has extensive commercial and technical experience across a broad range of national and global companies. The last 25 years have been spent in the Healthcare space with companies such as Ipsen, Kendle (now INC Research ) , Medisence (Abbott Labs), holding Financial Director and Board positions in these and other organisations.

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Tim Murphy

BSc(Hons), M Mkt, FAICD

Tim Murphy is currently the General Manager of Blood Cancer Partnerships at the Leukaemia Foundation. A politically astute executive with extensive experience working with both the C-suite and Boardroom to manage corporate issues in regulated environments. Tim has demonstrated leadership ability in creating corporate vision and the accomplishment of goals through the motivation and direction of others. Tim has broad local and international experience in effective stakeholder engagement and political advocacy, with a strong background in high growth, merger, consolidation, and downsizing global and national businesses. His expertise crosses multiple sectors, including healthcare.

Tim’s a passionate strategic thinker who develops high performing teams and works cross-functionally to ensure the long-term viability of organisations. Tim is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and a Master of Marketing from Melbourne Business School.

Tim is currently the Chairperson of ARMI, and his recent career history includes Director, Global Strategic Initiatives, ViiV Healthcare and Head – Government Affairs, Global Market Development, GSK Vaccines, Brussels.

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Professor Clare Scott

Medical Research Institute Representative

Professor Clare Scott holds the Chair in Gynaecological Cancer at the University of Melbourne and is Joint Division Head of Clinical Translation and a Laboratory Head at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and Medical Oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Royal Women’s and Royal Melbourne Hospitals. She has 25 years’ experience in clinical cancer genetics, including working in Familial Cancer Clinics. Her clinical expertise is in gynaecological cancers and coordinating care for patients with rare cancers. Her laboratory focuses on drug resistance in ovarian cancer and other rare cancer types, generating patient-specific models to understand and avert resistance to targeted therapeutics. In particular, she has been a leader in developing PARP inhibitor therapy for ovarian cancer, which has resulted in unprecedented efficacy. She has 119 career publications with an H-Index of 54.

Professor Scott chairs the COSA Rare Cancer group and the Board of the International Rare Cancer Initiative (IRCI) and has been awarded Clinical Fellowships from the Victorian Cancer Agency (2011, 2017), the Sir Edward Dunlop Cancer Research Fellowship from the Cancer Council Victoria (2012) and in 2018, the Jeannie Ferris Recognition Award in Gynaecological Cancer from Cancer Australia. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Dr Sophia Frentzas

Metropolitan Sites Representative

Sophia is a Medical Oncologist at Monash Health and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Monash University. She leads the Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit at the Clinical Trials Centre (CTC) of the Monash Health Translational Precinct (MHTP), and also focuses on treating Gynaecological and Gastrointestinal malignancies. She has undertaken specialty training, research fellowships in the Drug Development Unit, and translational research at the Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London. She has completed a laboratory PhD (ICR, London), focusing on delineating mechanisms of resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy in colorectal cancers.

Her main research interests are focused on novel and personal approaches for the treatment of solid tumours, particularly in targeting aberrant pathways for angiogenesis, immuno-oncology, and on the investigation of strategies to overcome resistance to conventionally employed therapeutic agents. In particular, she has an interest in clinical, tissue, and imaging biomarker correlates of systemic therapy, sensitivity and resistance, as evidenced by her published translational work in advanced colorectal cancer.

Her research has been published in a number of peer-reviewed, high impact factor journals, and abstracts, and she has also published in book chapters. Since commencing at Monash Health in February 2018, She has brought >35 new national & international clinical trials to CTC and is the Monash Health PI on more than 20 Phase I-III studies.  She also sits on the Steering Group of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) Program to accelerate novel therapies, the Steering Group of the Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (MPCCC) for Precision Oncology, the ANZGOG Ovarian Tumour Type Working Group, and EDEN Endometrial Cancer Working Group. She is an active member of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA), Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG), and Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG).

Dr Sam Harris

Regional Site Representative

Sam graduated from Adelaide University Medical School and has extensive postgraduate general medical, oncological and palliative care experience. He completed his physician training at the Austin Health Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital in Melbourne.

In 2013, he completed medical oncology advanced training at Bendigo Health, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Austin Repatriation Hospital. His final year was a clinical trials fellowship in breast cancer, gastro-intestinal tumours and genitourinary cancers.

Between 2014 and 2016 Sam undertook a fellowship at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, United Kingdom, working initially in the Sarcoma Unit and subsequently with Professor Johann De Bono in the Drug Development Unit (phase 1 trials) and the prostate team. During this time he worked on the early phase trials of multiple drugs entering or soon to be entering clinical practice across many areas of oncology including lung, breast, prostate, ovarian cancer and melanoma, as well as with immunotherapy. 

Sam is a currently a medical oncologist at the Bendigo Health Oncology Unit where he is the Clinical Lead for the Oncology Trials Unit. Sam’s specialty areas are in breast cancer, melanoma and lung cancer and general oncology. He is the Bendigo Health representative and a previous chairperson for the Regional Trials Network – Victoria. 

Trisha Barton


Trisha is a Chartered Accountant, Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). and has completed Next Economy Governance by the Small Giants Academy.

As a Partner of a large professional services firm for a number of years, Trisha has provided specialist finance and tax advice on a diverse range of transactional and compliance projects, including corporate acquisitions and divestments, restructures, IPOs, privatisations and private equity investments. More recently, she has worked with large corporate clients across various sectors to help navigate the implications and risks of their strategic decisions. Her experience includes many clients and projects in the medical, healthcare, e-health and supporting sectors, including for profit and not for profit organisations.

Trisha is a Non-Executive Director and Advisory Board Member with 20+ years of professional services experience in strategic matters, finance and mergers & acquisitions. She is committed to driving organisational success through strategic leadership, effective decision-making and collaboration.

Dr Kurt Lackovic

CEO and Board Secretary

Dr Lackovic commenced as CEO of Cancer Trials Australia in January 2017.

Kurt has a PhD in chemistry, MBA from Melbourne Business School, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a member of the Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand, AusBiotech and the NHMRC Research Translation Faculty.

Kurt has extensive experience in leading complex academic and clinical programs, strong connections to industry, and strategic linkages to senior executives in Government and major teaching Hospitals. In previous roles he has worked in early stage drug discovery with a focus on oncology targets, managed the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute’s High Throughput Screening Facility, led multiple Cancer Therapeutics CRC projects involving national and international partners, and has overseen day-to-day management of the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance.

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