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Liverpool scientist receives prestigious teaching award

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11th March, 2024

Shailendra Gune has won the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) 2023 Konrad Muller Outstanding Teaching Award (Scientist).

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Shailen­dra Gune from our Liv­er­pool Lab­o­ra­to­ry who was recog­nised with the pres­ti­gious award, which is pre­sent­ed to indi­vid­u­als who have made an out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the teach­ing of pathol­o­gy, in par­tic­u­lar the teach­ing of registrars.

Shailen­dra has been work­ing at NSW Health Pathol­o­gy for 37 years. He received the acco­lade in front of a full house (and his very proud wife Soniya!) in Ade­laide at the annu­al Roy­al Col­lege of Pathol­o­gists of Australasia’s Pathol­o­gy Update 2024: Answers in Ade­laide.

Shailen­dra was sin­gled out for his approach­able style by the Roy­al Col­lege of Pathol­o­gists of Australasia.

“He is an exem­plary, approach­able sci­en­tist whose exper­tise is high­ly val­ued by both lab­o­ra­to­ry and anatom­i­cal pathol­o­gy Trainees. He is cred­it­ed with assist­ing Trainees in their exam­i­na­tion prepa­ra­tions with a high pass rate.”

Shailen­dra is the Senior Sci­en­tist in charge Cytol­ogy at our Liv­er­pool Lab­o­ra­to­ry and teach­es all lev­els of sci­en­tists and reg­is­trars in Anatom­i­cal Pathology.

He is a trust­ed super­vi­sor and men­tor and we are thrilled that his hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to build­ing up our future sci­en­tif­ic, tech­ni­cal and med­ical staff has been recog­nised by the RCPA.

“I am extreme­ly proud to receive this pres­ti­gious award,” Shailen­dra said.

A group of people, including wearing academic robes, smiling.
Shailen­dra Gune (sec­ond from right) with his award.

“I’m grate­ful to NSW Health Pathol­o­gy for recog­nis­ing my con­tri­bu­tion to the devel­op­ment of future Cytopathologists.

“Teach­ing is my way of pass­ing on my Cytol­ogy knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence to all. Thank you to all the reg­is­trars and sci­en­tists who have trained under me”.

“I also want to acknowl­edge the con­tri­bu­tion of Pro­fes­sor C. Soon Lee, Dr Donya Tohi­di-Esfa­hani, Staff Spe­cial­ists at NSWHP’s Liv­er­pool Lab­o­ra­to­ry and every­one in the Cytol­ogy Team.”.

Shailen­dra start­ed the Cytol­ogy ser­vice back in 1986 at the insti­ga­tion of the then Direc­tor of South West Area Pathol­o­gy Ser­vice (SWAPS), Dr Robert MacIn­doe, who was extreme­ly pas­sion­ate in expand­ing the role of Cytol­ogy in the South West Syd­ney area.

“He ensured that I attend­ed any Cytol­ogy con­fer­ences and train­ing pro­grams, both in Aus­tralia and over­seas so that the pathol­o­gy ser­vice would be at the pointy-end of cur­rent and future Cytol­ogy concepts.

“I was the only Cytol­o­gist then and over time, we grew and added Cytol­o­gists at Bankstown and Lid­combe Hospitals.”

“We reg­u­lar­ly trav­el to all sec­tor hos­pi­tals for Fine Nee­dle Aspi­ra­tion (FNA) pro­ce­dures and in 2016, I com­menced Rapid On Site Eval­u­a­tion (ROSE) of EBUS pro­ce­dures (Endo Bronchial Ultra­sound) and Endoscopy Ultra­sound (EUS) for lung and pan­cre­at­ic tumours in a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Dr Jonathan Williamson, Res­pi­ra­to­ry Spe­cial­ist at Liv­er­pool Hos­pi­tal and Dr David Abi Han­nah and Dr Milan Bas­san, who are Gas­teroen­terol­o­gy Specialists.

“With these pro­ce­dures, we can now obtain very minute sam­ples and using Mol­e­c­u­lar Biol­o­gy tech­niques with our own inhouse Oncomine Sequen­tial Analyser, we can detect spe­cif­ic onco­genes for our patient’s per­son­alised can­cer treatment.

“This sen­si­tive Oncomine Instru­ment Analyser is a state-of-the-art instru­ment for detec­tion of over 46 onco­genes derived from DNA and RNA muta­tions for suit­able mol­e­c­u­lar and immune therapy.”

Shailen­dra has seen a lot of changes and advance­ments in this field but says the art of Cytol­ogy has not changed over the years; it is still morphology!

“What has changed are the ancil­lary tech­niques that we utilise on sam­ples for front­line can­cer treat­ment, so we can help deliv­er bet­ter patient out­comes and deliv­er more per­son­alised med­i­cines to help each per­son have the best chance at beat­ing can­cer. That’s what dri­ves me.”

Con­grat­u­la­tions Shailen­dra, what a well-deserved honour!



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