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15th COGNO Annual Scientific Meeting
Bridge to the Future: Biomarkers in Brain Tumour Care
Sunday 8th October - Tuesday 10th October 2023
Hilton Sydney, NSW, Australia


Professor Melanie Hayden Gephart MD MAS
(presenting in person)
Melanie Hayden Gephart is a brain tumor neurosurgeon, treating patients with primary and metastatic brain tumors. As Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford, she directs the Brain Tumor Center and the Brain Metastasis Consortium, collaborative unions of physicians and scientists looking to improve our understanding and treatment of brain tumors. Her laboratory studies how rare cancer cell populations survive and migrate in the brain, inadvertently supported by native brain cells. Her team has developed novel cell free nucleic acid biomarkers to track brain cancer treatment response, relapse, and neurotoxicity, and brought novel treatments from the lab into clinical trials for patients with malignant brain tumors.
Professor Mustafa Khasraw MBChB MD FRCP FRACP
(presenting in person)
Mustafa Khasraw is a neuro-oncologist, Professor of Medicine and Deputy Director of the Center for Cancer Immunotherapy at Duke University, U.S. His research interests include biomarker development and design of innovative clinical trials to improve outcomes for patients with primary and metastatic cancers of the central nervous systems. At Duke, he is tasked with speeding up clinical research and translation for scientists across all departments and tumor sites. Mustafa Khasraw is leading several clinical and translational programs with significant laboratory collaborations and is the Principal Investigator on first-in-human phase I immunotherapy clinical trials in solid tumors. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, an Elected Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) and an Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney where he was the clinical lead for COGNO 2014-2019, prior to moving to Duke University in the U.S.
Professor Martin Taphoorn MD PHD
(presenting in person)
Courtesy of Brain Tumour Alliance Australia (BTAA)
Martin Taphoorn obtained his MD at Leiden University and subsequently specialized in clinical neurology in Amsterdam VU Medical Center, where he also wrote his PhD thesis “Treatment of Primary and Metastatic Brain Tumours; Beneficial and Adverse Effects”. He further specialised in clinical neuro-oncology at University Medical Center, Utrecht and during a sabbatical leave visited MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Texas (Dr Levin) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York (Dr DeAngelis).
From 2003 to 2022 Martin combined working as a neurologist/ neuro-oncologist at Haaglanden Medical Center, The Hague, where he was head of the residency program of neurology, with academic clinical research, initially as Professor in Neuro-oncology at The Free University in Amsterdam (2007-2015) and subsequently at Leiden University (from 2015 onwards). From 2009-2011 Martin was president of the Netherlands Society of Neurology.
At present Martin is still actively involved in both the EORTC Brain Tumor Group, EORTC Quality of Life Group, as well as in EANO and SNO and has authored over 300 peer-reviewed articles. As Professor of Neuro-oncology, his research activities at Leiden University Medical Center are focused on clinical outcomes in neuro-oncology (cognition, epilepsy, imaging, health-related quality of life, end-of-life). Martin leads the international Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) Patient-Reported Outcomes initiative and is Editor in Chief of Neuro-oncology Practice since 2021.
Professor Justin Lathia PHD
(presenting in person)
Courtesy of Australian Brain Cancer Research Alliance (ABCARA)
Justin Lathia is a distinguished researcher at the forefront of cancer stem cell studies, heading a translational laboratory at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute and holding key roles at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research explores the regulation of stem cells in advanced cancers, leading to notable achievements like a Phase 1 clinical trial targeting glioblastoma. With over 235 co-authored publications, Prof Lathia's work receives support from numerous national institutes of health grants and foundation grants. He actively contributes as a peer reviewer to over 150 journals and serves on editorial boards for cell reports, cancer research, and neuro-oncology. Prof Lathia's influence extends to organising cancer stem cell meetings in Cleveland, attracting hundreds of attendees from various states and countries, highlighting the global significance of his research endeavors. As a respected co-editor of a cancer stem cell textbook, he continues to shape and advance cancer therapeutics through his impactful contributions to the field.
Professor Stephen Price BSc MBBS PhD FRCS
(presenting in person)
Courtesy of The Brain Cancer Group (TBCG)
In 2010 he was awarded a NIHR Clinician Scientist Fellowship and currently balances his clinical practice with research. His research interest involves using advanced imaging methods to study the effects of tumours on the normal brain surrounding brain tumours. This work aims to better outline the invasive margin of these tumours and understand the effect of these tumours and treatment on the functioning of the normal brain. Stephen is keen to see if we can use these methods to individualise treatments. In 2016 he developed the Cambridge Brain Tumour Imaging Laboratory – UK’s first dedicated brain tumour imaging analysis laboratory. He has been a member of the NCRI Brain Tumour Study Group and the Neuro-oncology Clinical Study Group and was the chair the Imaging and Technology Sub- Group. He is a Bye-Fellow of Queens’ College and is the Director of Studies of Clinical Medicine.
To read our international and Australian speakers full bios, click here