The medical research pioneer

Professor Sudha Rao

Professor Sudha Rao is on the brink of delivering a major breakthrough treatment to prevent aggressive cancers from recurring. Not only was she the first to identify a new class of enzymes that causes recurring cancer, she also developed a drug combination that stops cancer stem cells from spreading. To fast-track the release of this life-changing treatment to cancer patients she also helped establish a start-up company that is conducting clinical trials. And if that wasn’t enough, she has also developed a major step forward in the early detection of metastatic cancer through a simple, non-invasive blood test.

You’d think that someone who juggles the roles of Professor, Researcher and Chief Scientific Officer of a company for such a worthy cause would have no personal life. But Sudha says that Canberra—unlike any other city she’s lived in—allows her to have it all.

“Canberra is the city for women who want to have a career and raise a family. Travel times are minimal, so in one day I can drop the kids to school, work in the lab, duck out to a school performance, meet with an oncologist at the hospital, go to a board meeting and be home in time for dinner with the family. I just physically couldn’t do all that anywhere else.

“Being surrounded by nature parks and cycle tracks it’s also really easy to stay active and healthy.

“As a cancer researcher, I’m very lucky to have the support of Canberra’s fantastic scientific community, that has allowed me to accelerate our critical research into helping cancer patients live longer and, ultimately, spend more time with their families.”


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Professor Sudha Rao