Charles Darwin’s visit to the Galapagos Islands in 1835 was the inspiration for his theory of evolution: that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce. Later, Gregor Mendel worked out the mechanism of heredity to complete Darwin’s theory and formed the basis of our understanding of genetics.
So, it was only fitting that our academic advisory committee recommended genetics as one of the topic areas for the Galapagos conference. It is a great honour to have as a keynote speaker, Dr Kathy Tucker, who established the first clinical cancer genetics service in Australia and is recognized as the founder and key player in clinical cancer genetics in Australia. As well as her role as a clinician at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, she continues research work in the Combined Genomic cancer medicine Program at the Garvan Institute. In 2018, Kathy was awarded an Order of Australia for her distinguished service to medicine in the field of familial cancer genetics.