Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer Laboratory

Professor Bryan Day

Group Leader & Sid Faithfull Fellow

The Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer laboratory focuses on Glioblastoma (GBM) which is the most common and aggressive form of adult brain cancer. GBM kills approximately 1200 people per year in Australia. Survival rates are very poor with a median survival of approximately 15 months. Meaningful advancements in patient treatment and survival have not changed for decades. New and better treatment therapies are urgently needed.

The laboratory also studies a number of paediatric brain cancers including medulloblastoma and an incurable form of brain stem glioma called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). Our goal is to design therapies that specifically treat the tumour while keeping the healthy developing brain intact.


  • defining Eph receptors as therapeutic targets in brain cancer
  • defining novel therapies for the treatment of brain cancer
  • understanding intratumoural heterogeneity and interclonal cooperativity in brain cancer
  • exploring the use of Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) and organoid cultures in the treatment of brain cancer
  • brain cancer tissue and culture bank development
  • developing effective strategies to target multiple GBM cell-states
  • neo-adjuvant Immuno-Oncology clinical trial preparation

QCell is a high quality, well-characterised panel of primary brain cancer cell line models for academic and commercial use. For further information, please click here:


Above: Jessie Sadler, Bradley Faithfull, Arran Faithfull, Professor Bryan Day, Christine Sadler and Professor Frank Gannon (Former QIMR Berghofer Director and CEO)

Aside: Sid Faithfull


Sid Faithfull and his wife, Christine Sadler, have been major supporters of QIMR Berghofer since 2013. Tragically, Sid passed away from brain cancer in 2014. In June 2018 our lab was renamed as the Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer Laboratory to honour Sid and the valuable contributions of his family. Christine and Sid’s visionary investment enables us to build capacity through innovation, obtain vital resources and instigate trials that ultimately lead to better treatments and improved quality of life for people suffering brain cancer.

Sid grew up in the Far North of Australia and experienced a wide range of interesting professions before finding his niche in maritime logistical support. A visionary in many ways, Sid realised opportunities and had the courage of his convictions to drive change.  He was a quiet achiever; an entrepreneur who created Australia’s largest privately owned shipping company, Sea Swift.

In honour of Sid, sharing his vision and desire to drive change and innovation, Christine, Arran, Bradley, Jessie and their families have enabled us to continue to expand our world class research and support the next generation of talented young scientists.


  • Anja Kordowski, Research Assistant
  • Professor Andrew Boyd, Honorary Scientist
  • Professor Bryan Day, Group Leader and Sid Faithfull Fellow
  • Courtney Jurd, Administration Officer
  • Fiona Smith, Research Assistant
  • Kylah Bradbrook, PhD Student
  • Dr Lachlan Harris, Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Michelle Li, Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Niclas Skarne, PhD Student
  • Dr Rochelle D’Souza, Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Thomas Crawshaw, Masters Student
  • Dr Ulrich Baumgartner, Postdoctoral Scientist

QIMR Berghofer Clinical Fellows

  • Associate Professor Zarnie Lwin, Medical Oncologist
  • Associate Professor Lindy Jeffree, Neurosurgeon 
  • Dr Ben Chua, Radiation Oncologist
  • Dr Cath Bettington, Oncologist
  • Dr Hamish Alexander, Neurosurgeon
  • Dr Manasi Jiwrajka, Clinical Doctor
  • Dr Po Inglis, Medical Oncologist 


External Collaborators

  • Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital
  • University of Queensland
  • Boston University
  • Ludwig Cancer Research
  • Associate Professor Terrance Johns, Telethon Kids Institute
  • Associate Professor Stephen Rose, CSIRO
  • Dr Nicholas Gottardo, Telethon Kids Institute
  • Associate Professor Geraldine O’Neill, University of Sydney
  • Professor Jeremy Rich, University of California
  • Associate Professor Justin Lathia, Cleveland Clinic
  • Dr David Walker, Briz Brain and Spine
  • Dr Andrew Moore, Queensland Children’s Hospital
  • Dr Hui Gan, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
  • Professor Andrew Scott, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
  • Dr Simon Puttick, CSIRO
  • Associate Professor Kristofer Thurecht, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
  • Professor Andrew Whittaker, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
  • Dr Michael Piper, Queensland Brain Institute
  • Dr Matt Dunn, University of Newcastle

We gratefully acknowledge support from the following:

  • Sid Faithfull and Christine Sadler
  • Margaret Pemberton Foundation 
  • Laurie’s Love Foundation
  • Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • Cure Brain Cancer Foundation
  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Play for a Cure
  • Tour de Cure
  • Cancer Council Queensland
  • Cancer Australia
  • Cure Cancer Australia Foundation
  • The Kids Cancer Project
  • Cancer Care Services: Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Brisbane
  • Rio Tinto Ride to Conquer Cancer


Targeting novel receptors in GBM

This project can be adapted in scope for Honours or PhD project. BACKGROUND We have generated well-characterised monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against two receptor proteins that are present on two discrete cell populations and propose to use these simultaneously to effectively target this devastating disease. By targeting two proteins specifically expressed on the tumour and not […]

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Sid Faithfull Brain Cancer Laboratory plaque

Christine Sadler and Professor Bryan Day at the plaque unveiling

Revealing the plaque. L to R – Professor Frank Gannon (Former QIMR Berghofer Director and CEO), Professor Bryan Day and Christine Sadler

Research Team

Working hard in the lab

Fiona Smith

Kathleen Enesby

Michelle Li & Secklin Akgul

Rochelle D’Souza

Professor Bryan Day and Professor Andrew Boyd