Professor Christobel Saunders AO, MB BS, FRCS, FRACS, FAAHMS is the James Stewart Chair of Surgery, the Head of the Department of Surgery at the University of Melbourne (Royal Melbourne Hospital precinct), Director of Medical Research at Melbourne Medical School, a Director on various boards including the VCCC Alliance, PathWest, Breast Cancer Trials, the Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care, All.can International and All.can Australia. She is Consultant Surgeon in the Department of General Surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute. Christobel is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s most prominent research-orientated cancer surgeons. She has substantially contributed to cancer research, including clinical trials of new treatments, and psychosocial, translational and health services research.

In recognition of her sustained career excellence and innovation, Christobel has been publicly acknowledged through numerous awards and honours including the Order of Australia 2018, the Uccio Querci della Rovere Award (2018), WA Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee (2018), WA Scientist of the Year (2017), Cancer Council WA Career Achievement Award (2021) and was elected to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science in 2016.

She has performed research for >30 years evaluating the efficacy and utility of therapy for early breast cancer. In the past five years, Christobel has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles. Christobel is closely involved in strategic planning and management of health and cancer services in Australia including being a member of the Medicare Review Advisory Committee, panel member of the Medical Services Advisory Committee, Cancer Plan Navigation sub-committee, past President of the Breast Surgical Society of ANZ, and past Advisory Council member of Cancer Australia. She was the Inaugural Chair of the state Health Service Provider, PathWest Laboratory Medicine.