Professor Robyn WARD is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and Acting Executive Dean of Medicine at the University of Queensland. She holds a clinical appointment as a medical oncologist at the Princess Alexandria Hospital in Brisbane. Prior to moving to Queensland in early 2015, she worked for many years within hospital and academic settings in New South Wales, including roles as Director of the Prince of Wales Hospital Cancer Centre and Clinical Associate Dean at UNSW. For the Commonwealth, she chairs the Medical Services Advisory Committee and is a long standing member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. Professor Ward was previously the chair of the NHMRC’s Human Genetics Advisory Council and Member of the NHMRC council. Since 2014 she has been the international co-chair of the Global Genomic Medicine Collaborative (G2MC) hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Prof Ward was elected to Council and Executive of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2013. Throughout her career Professor Ward has shown a sustained capacity for innovative research into the range of issues that underlie the problem of human cancer. At UNSW Australia she led an independent research group that has produced over 200 journal articles, letters and monographs, as well as several patents. As Head of the Adult Cancer Program at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre UNSW, and as a clinician researcher at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, she has made several important contributions to translational cancer research in the area of bowel cancer, including studies of the precursor lesions of this common disease, and the development of novel immunotherapies. More recently, she used her expertise as a medical oncologist and clinical cancer geneticist to better define population-based screening strategies for hereditary bowel cancer. By recognising that constitutional epimutations of tumour suppressor genes can predispose to cancer, she has also helped to better define the medical management of individuals and families with these epigenetic changes.