Leadership team


Dr Kate Clarke, Current President. Medical Oncologist, Wellington Blood Cancer Centre

Dr Clarke is a practicing medical oncologist with an interest in clinical trials and facilitating access to innovative therapy within a New Zealand context. Her particular interest is gastrointestinal and breast cancers and she chairs the Gastrointestinal Special Interest Group (GISIG).

NZSO kate clarke

Vice President

A/Prof Margaret Currie, Current Vice President. University of Otago, Christchurch

A/Prof Margaret Currie is a Principal Investigator in the Mackenzie Cancer Research Group, Department of Pathology & Biomedical Science, University of Otago Christchurch. Her research has a strong clinical focus, and investigates various aspects of the tumour microenvironment during cancer progression. Margaret currently holds the position of Associate Dean of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Otago Christchurch (UOC).

NZSO Marg Currie

Executive Committee

Dr Anita Dubier, Senior Lecturer, University of Otago

Dr Anita Dunbier is a Senior Lecturer for the Department of Biochemistry at University of Otago. Her research focuses on molecular aspects of cancer with particular emphasis on understanding the genotypic and phenotypic determinants of resistance to endocrine therapy in breast cancer.

NZSO Anita Dunbier TO USE

Dr Nicky Lawrence, Auckland City Hospital

Dr Nicky Lawrence is a Medical Oncologist at Auckland City Hospital and Deputy Director of Cancer Trials New Zealand at The University of Auckland. She has an interest in genitourinary cancers and clinical trial methodology. She completed a research fellowship at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre in Sydney where she gained experience working in a co-ordinating centre for academic cancer clinical trials. She was awarded a PhD from the University of Sydney for her work evaluating the design of cancer clinical trials. She is passionate about increasing opportunities for research participation for patients with cancer in New Zealand and research training for oncology trainees. She is a member of the international steering committee for the Australia & Asia Pacific Clinical Oncology Research Development (ACORD) Workshop, and introduced the one day concept development workshop and critical appraisal workshops to New Zealand.

NZSO Nicky Lawrence

Dr Rachel Purcell, Senior Research Fellow, 2021 NZSO Roche Translational Cancer Research Fellowship Recipient

Dr Rachel Purcell is a Senior Research Fellow with the Department of Surgery. She has a background in molecular biology and cancer genetics. Her research is centered on the molecular mechanisms of pathogenic bacteria in colorectal carcinogenesis. Rachel's current research projects include investigating the effect of the gut microbiome on radiotherapy response in rectal cancer, microbiome-based markers of diverticular disease and molecular classification of colorectal cancer.

NZSO rachell purcell

Dr Alvin Tan, Waikato Hospital

Dr Alvin Tan is a consultant Medical Oncologist at Waikato Hospital, and practices in private at Braemar Oncology. He has a particular interest in genitourinary/prostate cancers and participation in oncology clinical trials. He is the primary site investigator for a number of collaborative and industry oncology trials being conducted at Waikato Hospital, and is a previous participant of the Australia & Asia Pacific Clinical Oncology Research Development (ACORD) Workshop. He is currently a member of the Waikato Cancer and Blood Research Governance Board, and member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Advanced Training Subcommittee for Medical Oncology.

NZSO Alvin Tan

A/Prof Logan Walker, University of Otago, Christchurch

A/Prof Logan Walker is a cancer geneticist at the University of Otago Christchurch. His research programme aims to better understand why cancer develops and to develop methods for evaluating the clinical significance of genetic variants. He is a member of several international groups tasked with improving variant classification, including the ENIGMA (Evidence-based Network for the Interpretation of Germline Mutant Alleles) Splicing Working Group Chair and Variant Curation Expert Panel, the ClinGen Hereditary Breast Ovarian and Pancreatic Cancer Variant Curation Expert Panel, the ClinGen Sequence Variant Interpretation - Splicing Sub-group, and the BRCA Challenge Steering Group.

NZSO Logan Walker picture

Rules of the Executive Committee

The New Zealand Society for Oncology is governed by an Executive Committee. This committee consists of a President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and three other members. The committee shall include the immediate past convener of the annual meeting and the convener of the next annual meeting. The committee shall have the power to co-opt such other persons as the executive committee considers appropriate. The office of the President may be held by one person for not more than two consecutive years, but after being out of such office for one year, such a person shall be eligible for re-election as President. The maximum term of office for all members of the executive committee (including President and Vice President) will be two years, except for the convenor of the next annual meeting who will be appointed for one year, and the following year will continue appointment for one more year as the Convenor of the last annual meeting. The common practice of the Society is for the Vice President to automatically become President on the retirement of the current President.

The members of the Executive Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting by nomination and ballot. The Executive Committee shall have power to fill a casual vacancy on the Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee shall annually appoint a Convenor to organise the annual conference and shall have the power to remove the convenor if the convenor is not adequately discharging their responsibilities.

2021 Conference Convener

Dr Alvin Tan, Waikato Hospital

2020 Conference Convener

Kate Clarke, Wellington Blood Cancer Centre


Ken Dempster