Prof. John Rasko AO


Cure The Future has a team working towards the goal of finding cures for thousands of diseases. At the forefront of this pioneering research is Professor John Rasko. He is a world-renowned gene therapy scientist and practising haematologist who directs Cell and Molecular Therapies at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and heads the Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program at the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, affiliated with the University of Sydney. His was the first formal appointment in clinical gene therapy in Australia.

Professor Rasko is an Australian pioneer in the application of adult stem cells and genetic therapy. He directs the Department of Cell and Molecular Therapies at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and heads the Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program at the Centenary Institute, University of Sydney.

John Rasko is a clinical haematologist, pathologist and scientist with an international reputation in gene and stem cell therapy, experimental haematology and molecular biology. In over 150 publications he has contributed to the understanding of stem cells and haemopoiesis, gene transfer technologies, oncogenesis, human genetic diseases and non-coding RNAs.

He serves on Hospital, State and National bodies including Chairman of GTTAC, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator – responsible for regulating all genetically-modified organisms in Australia – and immediate past Chair of the Advisory Committee on Biologicals, Therapeutic Goods Administration. His contributions to scientific organisations include co-founding (2000) and past-President (2003-5) of the Australasian Gene Therapy Society; Vice President (2008-12) and President-Elect (2016-17) of the International Society for Cellular Therapy; Scientific Advisory Committees and Board member for philanthropic foundations; and several Human Research Ethics Committees.

He is a founding Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Professor Rasko has an international research track record in gene therapy, experimental haematology and cell biology. His research has been successful in uncovering new mechanisms of leukaemia, understanding blood hormones, identifying the genetic causes of kidney diseases and clinical trials of new biological therapies for cancer and bleeding disorders. Most recently he developed a milestone in gene therapy for haemophilia with collaborators in the USA.

He has received many awards for medical research, teaching and public service – he is the recipient of national (RCPA, RACP, ASBMB) and international awards in recognition of his commitment to excellence in medical research, and has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia.

John is married and Father of 2 children.