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Research Program

The Westmead Breast Cancer Institute (BCI) research program supports collaborative research and currently has partnerships with clinical and research institutions both nationally and internationally. The BCI  has established Westmead Breast Cancer Research Collaborative group (WBCRC) to promote innovative, high impact breast cancer research across the Westmead  campus through cross disciplinary partnership and collaboration. We believe successful collaboration among researchers and other health care stakeholders will lead to innovation in research and more rapid translation into clinical practice.

The BCI maintains close links to Sydney West Translational Cancer Research Centre , The Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre,  Westmead Institute for Medical Research  and Western Sydney Local Health District Research & Education Network .

The research program at the BCI comprises six broad research streams investigating the development, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of early stage breast cancer.


Research streams and lead clinicians

StreamLead clinicians
Breast SurgeryElisabeth Elder / James French /Farid Meybodi
AxillaElisabeth Elder / James French /Farid Meybodi
Pathology & Prognostic factorsNirmala Pathmanathan
RadiotherapyKirsty Stuart / Tim Wang
Behavioural Medicine & Health PsychologyKerry Sherman / Geaty Hamid
Breast ScreeningNirmala Pathmanathan / Hanan Salama


Westmead Breast Cancer Institute Research Advisory Committee

All research undertaken at the BCI is governed by the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute Research Advisory Committee (RAC). The RAC conduct a clinical review of all proposed research projects undertaken at BCI.

Research Advisory Committee members assist in the review of project proposals and provide comments when relevant to their area of specialty. They are also responsible for overseeing the efficient conduct of each study within their area of specialty, ensuring appropriate milestones are achieved.

BCI Research Committee:

  • Director of Research (chair) – A/Prof Elisabeth Elder
  • BCI Service Director – A/Prof Nirmala Pathmanathan
  • Director – Strategic Operations – Susan Hamill
  • Research Manager – Masrura Kabir
  • Research Nurses –Carol Tse  and Bronwyn Chalmers
  • Project Officer Research – Yasmin Sultana and Banafsheh Moradmand Badie 
  • Research Administrative Assistant – Amanda Robinson
  • Health Psychologist – A/Prof Kerry Sherman
  • Representative from  radiation Oncology- Dr Kirsty Stuart
  • Representative from medical oncology – Dr Phuong Dinh
  • Representative from Westmead Institute of Medical Research  – Dr Dinny Graham

Researchers interested in undertaking research with the BCI:

If you are interested in undertaking research with the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute, or if you would like to discuss your research project or the approval process with a member of the committee, please email our Research Manager (@BCI-Research).

Once the RAC approves the project, you must obtain ethics approval from a lead Human Research Ethics committee. Usually we submit our projects to the Western Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) for the ethical review but researchers are free to choose any lead ethics committee. All research conducted at the BCI must obtain site specific assessment approval (SSA) by Western Sydney Local Health District Research Governance Office (RGO) prior to the project commencement. SSA must be obtained for each site.


Useful Links

Full list of Human Research Ethics Committees registered with NHMRC
Western Sydney Local Health Network Human Research Ethics Committee
NSW Health Ethics forms for NEAF and SSA applications
NSW Health Ethics
Office of the Privacy Commissioner

Participation in a Research Study