Scientific Advisory Committee « Charlie Teo Foundation

Scientific Advisory Committee

Prof Charlie Teo

SAC Chair

  • Over 600 applicants yearly
  • Over 120 peer reviewed journals
  • Australian representative on the Tumour Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and CNS
  • Over $20 million that has been used to fund research scientists both in Australia and Internationally
  • Prof Teo dedicates 3 months every year to pro bono work in developing countries
  • In 2013 was honoured to be the first non-politician Australian to address the US Congress on the need for more funding for brain cancer research

For over 30 years Prof Charlie Teo AM has been instrumental in the development, dissemination and acceptance of the concept of keyhole minimally invasive techniques in neurosurgery. Prof Teo runs a fellowship program that attracts over 600 applicants yearly and has trained many of the world’s leading figures in neurosurgery. He trains at distinguished centres such as the Barrow Neurological Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and Harvard University.

He has been published in over 120 peer reviewed journals, has authored two books on keyhole approaches to brain tumours and featured as a guest editor for several journals. He is the Australian representative on the Tumour Section of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and CNS.

Prof Teo strongly believes that a surgeon’s responsibility to his patients shouldn’t end after surgery. In keeping with his desire to find cures for recurrent brain tumours, he has raised over $20 million that has been used to fund research scientists both in Australia and Internationally.

Prof Teo dedicates 3 months every year to pro bono work in developing countries, for which he has been recognised with awards from Rotary International. This includes the Paul Harris Fellowship for contribution to World Health. He has been a finalist in the NSW Australian of the Year awards in 2003 and 2009.

In 2011 his contribution to the development of minimally invasive neurosurgery was recognised in the Australia Day awards where he was named as a Member of the Order of Australia. In 2012, he was invited to give the Australia Day Address to the Nation and in 2013 was honoured to be the first non-politician Australian to address the US Congress on the need for more funding for brain cancer research.

Charlie is a father to four beautiful daughters and supports the rights of girls and young women in impoverished countries such as Cambodia and India through various charities including his own Teo Family Foundation. He is a Patron for Voiceless, an Australian based charity that is dedicated to reducing cruelty to industry animals.

Prof Paul de Souza

SAC Member

Prof Paul De Souza has over 20 years of experience caring for patients with cancer, especially those with brain and genitourinary cancer and has a strong interest in clinical research and trials. Prof De Souza is the Dean of Medicine at Wollongong University, a Foundation Professor of Medical Oncology at Western Sydney University, a conjoint Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Australia, and an Honorary Professor of the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney. After completion of his medical oncology training in Sydney, Paul was appointed as a Research Associate and later, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia where he developed his clinical and research interests in cancer drug development. Paul works as a medical oncologist at Southside Cancer Care Centre, and St George Private Hospitals. He runs a research laboratory at the Ingham Institute, Liverpool, dedicated to developing new drugs for cancer patients and innovative methodologies for monitoring of cancers, as well as running many clinical trials of experimental new drugs.

A/Prof Peter Fecci

SAC Member

Peter Fecci, MD PhD, is currently an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Pathology, and Immunology at Duke University, where he also serves as the Director for the Center for Brain and Spine Metastasis, as well as the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program (BTIP). Peter earned his MD PhD at Duke in 2007, before pursuing his neurosurgical training at MGH. While in Boston, he continued his post-doctoral research training at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Peter returned to Duke in 2014 to join the neurosurgical faculty. He was a recipient of the Sontag Distinguished Scientist Award in 2015 and heads an R01-funded laboratory that focuses on integrating strategies for reversing cancer-induced T cell dysfunction with current immune-based platforms. His recent work on GBM-induced T cell exhaustion and sequestration has produced high profile publications including in Nature Medicine. Clinically, as a neurosurgeon, he focuses on intrinsic brain tumors and has built one of the country’s largest centers for Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy as a minimally invasive option for brain tumors.

Dr Peter Nakaji

SAC Member

Peter Nakaji, MD, is a general practice neurosurgeon who specializes in the treatment of complicated diseases of the brain and spine. His vascular practice includes the treatment of aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, cavernous malformations, carotid artery disease, and brain and spinal tumors. He also maintains an active interest in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia and Chiari malformation, among other conditions.

Dr Raelene Endersby

SAC Member

Dr Raelene Endersby was awarded her PhD in 2003 from the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research (under the supervision of Prof Peter Klinken AC), undertook postdoctoral training in the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, USA (under the supervision of Dr Suzanne Baker).

She was awarded the John Lillie Childhood Cancer Fellowship in 2011 to return to Australia to establish the Brain Tumour Research Program at the Telethon Kids Institute, which she co-leads with Dr Nick Gottardo. This collaborative group of clinicians, neurosurgeons, medical physicists, and laboratory scientists uses a suite of in vivo models to understand the effects of paediatric brain tumour mutations on normal brain development and tumorigenesis.

Her team also investigates potential therapeutic targets and uses in vivo model systems to evaluate novel treatments prior to clinical trial. Dr Endersby is a member of the Telethon Kids Institute Leadership Team (the highest executive committee within the institute), is on the Scientific Advisory Committee of Telethon Kids and the Rebecca L. Cooper Foundation and is a panel member for Cancer Australia and the NHMRC.

Dr Endersby is a passionate advocate for science and actively encourages young scientists to get involved in medical research. She has mentored high school students, undergrads, Honours, Masters and PhD students in her lab, has chaired the Telethon Kids Institute Postdoctoral Council and was on the inaugural executive committee for the Australian Academy of Science Early-Mid Career Researchers Forum.


Charlie Teo Foundation is committed to running a low-cost charity with a lean and dedicated team. With only 4.0 full-time equivalent employees, we are beyond grateful for the support of our dedicated volunteers who help us all year round.

Alana Phadke

Chief Executive Officer

Nicole Caixeiro, PhD

Head of Research

Mary Bishop

Fundraising & Events Manager

Marcella Zemanek

Community & Ambassador Manager

Shaunagh Scott

Administration Coordinator

We are honoured to have the talent and generosity of our volunteers

Sarah Wade

Research Assistant

Robin Berthelsen

Legal Counsel

Dr Michael Sughrue

Scientific Research Fellow

Lyndall Stewart

Assistant Company Secretary

Christine Lazaris

Volunteer Co-ordinator

Bernadette English

Admin Assistant

Ashraf Zaman, PhD

Co-ordinator of Charlie Teo Foundation Brain Tumour Bank