Brendon Coventry

Dr Brendon Coventry

Associate Professor

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Associate Professor Brendon Coventry MBBS PhD FRACS FACS FRSM is a Surgical Oncologist, General Surgeon, Immunologist, and medical researcher from Adelaide, South Australia. He is an Associate Professor at The University of Adelaide and Senior Consultant Surgeon at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He set up and founded the Australian Melanoma Research Foundation, was founding Chairman, & also the Research Director. His major research contributions have been made in the fields of surgery, cancer, vaccine immunotherapy, & medicolegal areas. In 2014, he published a seven-volume work on “Complications, Risks & Consequences” in surgery with Springer Publishing which is widely sought internationally.

He graduated Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (1983) and PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Immunology & Immunotherapy (Flinders University, 1992))
Fields: Surgical Oncology, Immunology, Cancer, Melanoma, Breast Cancer, Medicolegal Issues.
Institutions: Royal Adelaide Hospital, University of Adelaide, Australian Melanoma Research Foundation.

His work and views on cancer immunotherapy, cancer vaccines, the Australian health and tertiary education systems more generally have been widely reported in Australian news media in recent years, with journalist Rebecca Urban from The Australian calling him a "cancer pioneer". He has published over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, 10 books, and 69 book chapters, with numerous poster & podium presentations at international and national research meetings. The works are among the most highly cited (>7701 citations) in his fields. He also regularly reviews manuscripts for over 24 journals, and is an invited editor for Cancers, World Journal of Vaccines, and Cancer Management & Research; and grant reviewer for more than 10 national and international funding agencies. The effects of his research have helped to create new innovative approaches to surgery, cancer therapies & immunotherapies for patient benefit.

Current Research Interests 

  1. Tumour Immunology, Dendritic Cells and Cancer Vaccine Immunotherapy Treatments
  2. Tumour Growth Regulation
  3. Selective (Sentinel) Lymph Node Biopsy and Lymphatic Tracing in Melanoma and Breast Cancer Surgery
  4. Isolated Limb Infusion Chemotherapy Surgery
  5. Clinical Skills Teaching
  6. Surgical Complications and Risk Management

 

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2019 - ongoing Lieutenant Commander Royal Australian Navy
    2016 - ongoing Senior Consultant Surgeon - Surgical Oncology & Acute Care Royal Adelaide Hospital
    2011 - ongoing Lecturer - Visiting Professor University of Oxford
    2007 - 2015 Chairman (elected), Multidisciplinary Melanoma Management Group Royal Adelaide Hospital
    2007 - 2014 Chairman (elected), Surgical Oncology Section Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
    2006 - 2018 Foundation Chairman of Board, Board Member & Research Director Australian Melanoma Research Foundation
    2003 - ongoing Associate Professor of Surgery University of Adelaide
    1997 - ongoing Senior Examiner Australian Medical Council
    1996 - 2019 Module Leader - Education Program in Cancer Care Cancer Australia
    1996 - ongoing National Grants Review Panel Spokesperson and Member National Health and Medical Research Council
    1995 - 2003 Senior Lecturer University of Adelaide
    1995 - ongoing Extramural Clinical Investigator National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health
    1994 - 2016 Senior Consultant Surgeon – Breast Endocrine & Surgical Oncology Unit Royal Adelaide Hospital
    1994 - ongoing Senior Consultant Surgeon - General Surgery Royal Adelaide Hospital
    1994 - ongoing Surgeon - General Surgery Private Practice
    1993 - 1995 Lecturer University of Adelaide
    1993 - 1993 Surgical Fellow and Senior Resident in Surgery Royal Adelaide Hospital
    1992 - 1992 Advanced Surgical Training (General Surgery) Royal Adelaide Hospital
    1991 - 1991 Advanced Surgical Training (General Surgery) Queen Elizabeth Hospital
    1988 - 1990 Advanced Surgical Training Part-Time and nights (General Surgery) during PhD Studies Flinders Medical Centre
    1987 - 1987 Advanced Surgical Training (General Surgery) Flinders Medical Centre
    1985 - 1986 Resident Medical Officer - Basic Surgical Training (Surgical Rotations) Flinders Medical Centre
    1984 - 1984 Intern Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1992 Flinders University Australia PhD entitled "Characterisation of Tumour Infiltrating Lymphocytes in Human Solid Tumours"
    1992 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Australia Fellowship
    1985 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Australia Fellowship - Part I
    1985 Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates United States Visa Qualifying Examination
    1978 - 1983 Flinders University Australia Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    2012 Fellow (General Surgery) American College of Surgeons United States
    2011 Fellow Royal Society of Medicine United Kingdom
    1992 Fellow (General Surgery) Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Australia
    1983 Registered Medical Practitioner Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Australia

Research Grants

1994 - 2005 NIH International Multicentre Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial for high risk Melanoma –comparing wide excision vs wide excision plus selective lymph node tracing and biopsy for the treatment – in collaboration with Drs D Morton and A Cochran,  St John's Hospital and UCLA, Los Angeles, (NIH Funded – Contract Research).  (Coventry BJ site Principal Investigator)
1998 - 2005 Two NIH International Multicentre Polyvalent (C-VAX) Melanoma Cell Trials for Stage III and IV Metastatic Melanoma - in collaboration with Drs D Morton and A Cochran, St John's Hospital and UCLA, Los Angeles, USA. (Coventry BJ site Principal Investigator)
1997 Australian Research Council "Improving mouse monoclonal anti-melanoma IgM antibodies through phage display" (BJ Coventry, H Zola & A Hohmann). 
1997 Gunn Medical Research Award  "Coping Strategies and Immune Function in Patients with Breast Cancer" - BJ Coventry, JC Richards (Psychology / Adelaide Uni), GD Schiller. 
1998 - 2000 National Breast Cancer Foundation and Australia Post Research Grant "Online Peer Psychological Support for Rural Women with Breast Cancer, using the Internet" - Chief Investigators HR Winefield, Coventry BJ & Pradhan M, with Associates V Lambert, G Gill, and M Lewis  ($47,856).
1999 - 2000 Australian Research Council "Psychosocial Characteristics of Women with Breast Cancer who Choose or Decline to Join a Support Group" - Chief Investigators HR Winefield, Coventry BJ and Lewis M ($9,000).
2000 - 2001 Is A High Dermal Mast Cell Prevalence A Significant Predisposing Factor For Human Melanomas? The Role of Skin Cells In Human Melanomas. Chief Investigators Hart, P; Marshman G; Coventry BJ; Grimbaldeston, M; Finlay-Jones, J. Anti-Cancer Foundation of South Australia.
2000 - 2002 Calcitonin as an Antiproliferative Agent in Human Breast Cancer - Chief Investigators Findlay, DM; Coventry, BJ; Evdokiou, A. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia Project Grant.
2001 - 2002 Sensitisation of Cancer Cells to TRAIL induced apoptosis - Chief Investigators Findlay DM; Evdokiou A; Coventry BJ. Anti-Cancer Foundation of South Australia.
2001 - 2002 Sensitisation of Cancer Cells to TRAIL induced apoptosis  Chief Investigators Findlay DM; Evdokiou A; Coventry BJ; Clayer, M; Zalewski, P. Division of Health Sciences Research Committee, University of Adelaide B1 Funding. 
2003 - 2004 "A Novel Non-toxic Approach to Bone Cancer Therapy" - Chief Investigators Evdokiou A; Findlay  DM; Coventry BJ.  Cancer Council of South Australia. 
2003 - 2004 "A Novel Non-toxic Approach to Bone Cancer Therapy" - Chief Investigators Evdokiou A; Findlay  DM; Coventry BJ University of Adelaide B3 Funding).
2003 "Heat Shock Protein Vaccine in Melanoma Treatment”  - Antigenics Corporation, Boston, Contract Research.  (Coventry BJ site Principal Investigator)
2003 - 2004 “The role of CD1a in Melanoma Vaccine Treatments” - Coventry BJ. Royal Adelaide Hospital, Hanson Institute Research Fund. 
2003 - 2005 “The role of CD1a in Melanoma Vaccine Treatments” - Coventry, BJ. Royal Adelaide Hospital, Hanson Institute Research Fund . 
2005 - 2008 “Vaccinia Melanoma Lysate Vaccine Therapy for Advanced Melanoma” - Coventry, BJ. Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide Melanoma Unit Research Fund Fund.
2005 - 2008 Renewal of NIH Grant - Follow-up Study - International Multicentre Selective Lymphadenectomy Trial.
2005 - 2008 Renewal of NIH Grant - Follow-up Study – Two (C-VAX) Melanoma Cell Trials.
2003 - 2009 NHMRC Project Grant, “A randomised clinical trial of surgery versus surgery plus adjuvant radiotherapy for regional control in patients with completely resected macroscopic nodal metastatic melanoma” - 2 grants totaling $600,000 ($305,000; $295,000) (CI).
2008 - 2010 ANZMTG Grant and NIH Grant - MSLT-1 Extension Follow-up Studies.
2010 - 2012 RAH Melanoma Research Fund - Melanoma Vaccine Therapy Studies.
2013 - 2017 South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute Grant - Melanoma Vaccine Timed Therapy Studies.
2016 - 2019 Australian Melanoma Research Foundation Grants; Private practice funding; PhD Scholarship funding.
2020

Therapeutic Innovation Australia NCRIS National Research Infrastructure for Australia Grant – Vaccine Technology Development Grant.

Past Fellowships and Grants 

1988 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Research Fellowship - Awarded for PhD studies.
1988 Australian Cancer Society Fellowship to attend the XII International Congress of the Transplantation Society.
1989 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Florance Cancer Research Fellowship (declined, NHMRC scholarship taken).
1989 - 1990 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Scholarship.
1991 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Research Foundation Grant-in-Aid "Transplantation of human tumours in an immunodeficient mouse model."
1991 Anti-Cancer Foundation of South Australia Grant  "Transplantation of human tumours in immunodeficient mice."
1993 Marjorie Hooper Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College Surgeons for 1994.
1994 Medical Foundation of the University of Adelaide, Faulding Research Grant.
1994 Australian Cancer Society and Royal Adelaide Hospital Summer Vacation Research Scholarships (for C Christie and S Chryssidis).
1995 Anti-Cancer Foundation of South Australia Summer Vacation Research Scholarship (for D Holds).
1995 Anti-Cancer Foundation of South Australia Project Grant "IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, IL-10, receptors and dendritic cells in human breast carcinoma."
1996 Anti-Cancer Foundation of South Australia Summer Vacation Research Scholarships (for D Holds & T McDonald).
1996 Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Florance Cancer Research Fellowship.
1996 Anti-Cancer Foundation of the Universities of South Australia Travelling Fellowship.

Undergraduate

Past

  • Coordinator/ Course Organiser & Convenor of Adelaide Hills Surgery Teaching Program, Final Year, Adelaide Medical School, 1997-2017.
  • Assessor for Medical Student Entry, University of Adelaide, 1995-2007.
  • Coordinator & Lecturer, 4th Year Medicine Clinical Skills Teaching in Breast Endocrine Surgical Oncology.
  • Coordinator & Lecturer, Dental Surgery in General Surgery, 4th year, Dental School, University of Adelaide.
  • Special Tutor for Failing Medical Students with Specific Learning Difficulties, University of Adelaide.
  • Curriculum Committee Member Medical School (1994-2002).

Current

  • Lecturer in First, Second, Fourth & Sixth Year Medicine in the Medical Curriculum
  • Tutor in Fourth & Sixth Year Medicine in the Medical Curriculum – weekly tutorials & ward tuition.
  • Anatomy Tutor, Clinical Medical Students
  • Remedial Tutor – 5th Year Medicine.

Post-Graduate 

  • Postgraduate Surgical Training Lecturer and Tutor – at all levels of training of Surgeons.
  • Senior Examiner for Australian Medical Council - for foreign graduates entering Australia.
  • Tutor in Surgery – Surgeons in Training, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).
  • Post-graduate Nursing Lecturer – University of Adelaide & Royal Adelaide Hospital.
  • Invited Lecturer, Surgical Oncology, General Surgery, Rural Surgery and Breast Sections, RACS.
  • Masters of Surgical Science Course.
  • Masters in Immunobiology, Surgical Sciences, Oxford University (2011-present).

External Examining

  • External Observing Examiner, Flinders University, South Australia, Dec. 2001
  • External Observing Examiner, Oxford University, UK, July 2001
  • Examiner Fellowship in General Surgery (FRACS Part 1/ SET)
  • External examiner for 7 PhD & Masters higher degree theses.

Research Supervision

Dr Coventry has supervised numerous undergraduate medical students and summer vacation students in research projects since 1993. He has also supervised seven Honours students since 1994, and nine Higher Degree by Research students (M Phil and PhD) from 1996. 

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Principal Supervisor Optical Tweezer Techniques for Study of Receptor-Ligand Clustering in Lymphocytes Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Jason Buttigieg
    2015 Principal Supervisor Melanoma in Primary Care Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Bruce Wauchope
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 - 2021 Co-Supervisor A Mathematical and Engineering Approach to the Investigation of C-Reactive Protein as a Cancer Biomarker and the Evolution of Cancer Networks Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Mohsen Dorraki
    2011 - 2015 Co-Supervisor Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Drug Delivery of the Medicinal Pigment Curcumin in Molecular Assemblies Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Takaaki Harada
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2017 - 2017 Advisory Board Member Melanoma Clinical Guidelines Committee National Health and Medical Research Council Australia
    2015 - 2019 Member Medical Advisory Committee Calvary Adelaide (Wakefield) Hospital Australia
    2009 - 2012 Member Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committee Bellberry Limited Australia
    1996 - 2019 Member National Oncology Medical Education Committee Cancer Council Australia Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2019 - ongoing Board Member Editorial Board Member, CANCERS Journal Australia
    2010 - ongoing Board Member Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Vaccines Australia
    2010 - ongoing Member Foundation Member, Breast Surgeons Australia & New Zealand Australia
    2007 - 2019 Advisory Board Member US-based Vaccinoma/ Polynoma Corporation United States
    2007 - 2014 Member Council, Clinical Oncological Society of Australia Australia
    2007 - ongoing Founder Australian Melanoma Research Foundation Australia
    2003 - 2016 Member TNM Implementation Group, Union for International Cancer Control Switzerland
    2002 - ongoing Board Member Editorial Board Member, Cancer Management & Research Australia
    2000 - ongoing Member Foundation Member & SA Representative, Australian and New Zealand Melanoma Trials Group Australia
    2000 - ongoing Member Foundation Member, International Sentinel Node Society Australia
    1999 - ongoing Director Adelaide Melanoma Unit Australia
    1996 - ongoing Member Medico-legal Section, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Australia
    1996 - 2012 Member Breast Surgery Section, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Australia
    1996 - ongoing Member Surgical Oncology Section, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Australia
  • Presentation

    Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
    2021 - 2021 Therapeutic Vaccination as a Solution to Cancer? Finding Genius Podcast . United States
    2015 - 2015 Cancer vaccines and immune cycle timing 612 ABC Radio Brisbane ABC Australia
    2015 - 2015 Why Innovative Oncology is an Effective Way to Tackle Cancer Grace Gawler Media Australia
    2014 - 2014 Melanoma vaccine increases survival rate AM ABC Australia
    2014 - 2014 Melanoma find increases survival rate The World Today ABC Australia
    2010 - 2010 Rhythms in the Immune System Radio National Science Show ABC Australia
  • Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice

    Date Title Type Institution Country
    1993 - ongoing Invited Grant Reviewer - Project Grants Grant Assessment National Health and Medical Research Foundation of Australia; NSW Cancer Council; Victorian Cancer Council; Tasmanian Cancer Council; Queensland Cancer Fund; Leo and Jenny Foundation (NSW); Australasian Urological Foundation; WA Government Research Grants, Union Internationale Contre Le Cancer (UICC), SA Government Research Grants. Australia
    1993 - ongoing Invited Journal Reviewer Journal Review International Journal of Cancer (Journal of the UICC); Cancer (Journal of the American Cancer Society); Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery; Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy; Medical Journal of Australia; British Journal of Cancer; British Journal of Surgery; Anti-Cancer Research; Annals of Surgical Oncology; Melanoma Research; Annals of Oncology; Lancet & Lancet Oncology; Breast Cancer Research; Frontiers in Bioscience; Australian Journal of Rural Health; International Journal of Vaccines (Editorial Board member); Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology; Journal of Translational Medicine; Haematology & Oncology; Cancer Management & Research; World Journal of Vaccines; Military Medical Research; OncoImmunology; CANCERS (Reviewer & Editor). Australia
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 83136037
  • Email: brendon.coventry@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences, floor 8
  • Org Unit: Surgical Specialities

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