David Currow

Professor David Currow


Afternoon Plenary: The practical importance of randomised control trials (RCTs) in improving palliative patient care

Date: Thursday 15 March
Time: 13:30 – 14:25
Room: Tregonwell Hall

Update Masterclass – Opioids for Breathlessness: knowns and unknowns

Date: Friday 16 March
Time: 11:30 – 12:30
Room: Tregonwell Hall


Professor David C. Currow (BMed, MPH, PhD, FRACP, FAHMS) is the Matthew Flinders Distinguished Chair in Palliative and Supportive Services at Flinders University, Australia; Professor of Palliative Medicine, University of Technology Sydney, and Associate Director (Research) Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre, Hull York Medical School, Hull University, UK. David is an internationally recognised expert in supportive and palliative care with a particular emphasis on chronic breathlessness and in improving health service delivery. He has a strong track record in competitive research funding (NIH, NHMRC, Cancer Council) and publishing research that influences practice and policy. He leads the Australian national Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC), the world’s largest palliative care phase III clinical studies collaborative. This has generated several randomised, placebo controlled trials of off-label use of off-patent medications frequently used in symptom control internationally. He is also a leader in the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaborative, a national program for point-of-care data collection and service improvement in palliative care. He was a leader in the creation of the first patient-defined section of the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – the Palliative Care section.

David is Chief Cancer Officer, New South Wales and the Chief Executive Officer of the Cancer Institute, NSW, the state’s cancer control agency. The agency is responsible for prevention, screening, improved cancer services, and funding of research infrastructure.

He is frequently an invited plenary speaker at international conferences. He continues to supervise doctoral candidates from a variety of clinical backgrounds. He is senior associate editor of the Journal of Palliative Medicine and is on the editorial boards of Journal of Oncology Practice, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management and BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care. He was the 2015 recipient of the Tom Reeve National Award for Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Care from the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, a team member winning the 2012 National Team Award for Postgraduate Education from the Australian Learning and Teaching Centre, the 2012 Alumni Medal from the University of Newcastle for professional excellence and was a joint winner of the 2015 Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) / Medical Defence Association (MDA) National Research Award. He is a co-editor of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine (5th and 6th Editions). He was elected to Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.


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