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Sydney Catalyst pays tribute to Professor Derek Hart (1952 -2017)

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News Articles
27 February 2018

Sydney Catalyst and the Australian medical research community lost a prominent supporter and an amazing friend in December 2017, Professor Derek Hart. Derek had an enviable passion, drive and commitment to improving outcomes for people affected by cancer. During his outstanding career, he made many important discoveries that have enabled and will continue to enable promising new immune therapies for a range of cancers.

Professor Hart and his Dendritic Cell Research team were one of the first Cancer Institute NSW (CINSW) Translational Program Grant (TPG) recipients after the establishment of the Translational Cancer Research Centre (TCRC) program. He took this obligation seriously and committed to the Sydney Catalyst program as an actively engaged member of our T1T2 bench to bedside working group. One of the most significant contributions that Derek made to this group initially was sharing his expert knowledge of therapeutic development with a broad range of Sydney Catalyst members, enabling a new group of researchers to learn from his significant experience in translating promising laboratory discoveries into promising new treatments.

Given his support for and contribution to Sydney Catalyst, it was a natural next step for him to take over as the Chair of our T1T2 Working Group when that role became available. As Chair, Derek re-focused the group's attention to sharing ideas and knowledge, providing a forum for T1T2 research from across our diverse and large membership. As with everything he did, Derek brought an incredible enthusiasm and energy to his role as Chair and his guidance and leadership will be very much missed.

The Sydney Catalyst program has benefited significantly from Derek's contribution and while it is an understatement to say that he will be missed, we know that his legacy is one that will truly improve outcomes for people affected by cancer.   

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