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April 9, 2024

Winners of the 2023 MPCCC Outstanding Researcher Award

Congratulations to Dr Claire Sun and Dr Lisa Mielke who have won the prestigious 2023 MPCCC Outstanding Researcher Award. The award aims to recognise and celebrate the achievements of Victoria’s best and brightest mid-career cancer researchers.

The announcement and award ceremony took place during the MPCCC Cancer Forum 2024 where Dr Sun and Mielke had the opportunity to present their work to all in attendance. It was evident through their presentation that this accolade was a testament to their passion and contributions in cancer research.

Photo: Prof Mark Shakleton, Co-Director of MPCCC (right) presenting Dr Claire Sun her award at the MPCCC Cancer Forum 2024


Dr Sun is a Bioinformatician with the Next Generation Precision Medicine program, led by Hudson Institute’s Prof Ron Firestein. Dr Sun is passionate about translating basic research findings into clinical applications by employing state-of-the-art bioinformatics tools, including AI approaches.

Since 2018, Dr Sun has made significant contributions to the development of the computational framework and analytical methods underlying the Childhood Cancer Model Atlas (CCMA), the world’s largest (>300) collection of high-risk paediatric cancer cell lines which provides a unique, open-source facility to every paediatric oncologist and childhood cancer researcher worldwide.  This innovative atlas aims to enable data-driven discovery of new therapeutic targets for paediatric cancers with low survival rates.

Photo: Prof Melissa Southey, Co-Director of MPCCC (right) presenting Dr Lisa Mielke her award at the MPCCC Cancer Forum 2024

Dr Lisa Mielke is a Victorian Cancer Agency Fellow and Head of the Mucosal Immunity and Cancer laboratory at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute and School of Cancer Medicine La Trobe University.

Dr Mielke is an expert in immune cell biology in intestinal homeostasis and gastrointestinal cancers. She has led numerous studies revealing new and exciting cross-talk between our diet and transcriptional regulation of intestinal innate lymphoid cells (ILC) and gamma delta T cell populations. These studies opened an exciting frontier of research in the field of mucosal immunology that underpin her current work, studying these cells in maintaining homeostasis of the gut, their role in gastrointestinal infection and cancers.

It's an honour for the MPCCC to present this award to both Dr Sun and Dr Mielke who will each receive $5000 for winning the award. We thank them for their dedication towards the advancement of cancer care and we wish them continuous success in their respective fields.

The MPCCC presents the Outstanding Researcher Award annually and a call for nomination for the 2024 award will be released in October this year. Stay tuned for more details and make sure you have subscribed to MPCCC newsletter to get this news directly in your inbox.