Associate Professor David Ziegler

Senior Staff Specialist  

Head, Clinical Trials Program

Clinical Interests

A/Prof David Ziegler is a paediatric oncologist, haematologist and bone marrow transplant physician. He cares for children with all forms of blood disorders and cancers and manages patients undergoing bone marrow transplantation. He has a subspecialisation in neuro-oncology and cares for children with benign and malignant brain tumours. He has a particular interest in developing and testing new treatments for children with relapsed and refractory cancers.


A/Prof Ziegler has active research programs in both preclinical and clinical areas. The overarching goal of his research is to move basic laboratory discoveries into clinical practice to advance the diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer.

He has a laboratory research program at the Children’s Cancer Institute, Australia (CCIA).  The focus is on the development of novel therapies for childhood cancer, with a particular emphasis on brain tumours. He has worked extensively on identifying agents that activate the apoptotic pathway in malignant gliomas and medulloblastoma. He has also established a novel research program into the most malignant of all paediatric tumours – the Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. He has established a national tumour bank for these brain tumours, and a state-of-the-art program to use robotic high-throughput screening technology to discover new treatment strategies for this devastating disease.

A/Prof Ziegler also has an interest in the genetic causes of childhood leukaemia, and utilising Next Generation Sequencing to identify oncogenic mutations that promote leukaemiagenesis.

A/Prof Ziegler’s clinical research focuses on the translation of preclinical discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic. He is head of the Clinical Trials Program at the Kids Cancer Centre and has established an early phase clinical trial program to offer new treatments for children with relapsed or refractory disease.  He is chair of a national study for children with relapsed neuroblastoma, and is developing further trials in neuroblastoma, leukaemia, and childhood brain tumours.


A/Prof Ziegler trained in medicine at the University of New South Wales and graduated with first class honours in 1995. During his undergraduate training he received the Sydney Children’s Hospital Faculty Award for Outstanding Performance in Paediatrics. He completed the diploma of paediatrics in 1999 and was awarded the Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2006.

He trained in paediatric oncology, haematology and bone marrow transplantation at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick (SCH) and then the Children’s Hospital in Boston.

From 2005-07 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a research fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston. His research focused on the preclinical development and clinical translation of novel therapies for paediatric brain tumours. He was awarded a Doctorate of Medicine at UNSW in 2009.

Since 2007, A/Prof Ziegler has been appointed as Staff Specialist at the Kids Cancer Centre at SCH. He has established a new clinical research program specifically designed to develop early phase clinical trials for children with cancer. 

He has concurrent appointments as Clinical Fellow at the CCIA, and conjoint associate professor at the University of New South Wales.  His preclinical research focuses on therapeutic targeting of the apoptotic pathway in malignant brain tumours.  Within the CCIA he has also established a translational research group to directly facilitate the extension of preclinical discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside.

Contact Details

Ph: (02) 9382 1730

Fax: (02) 9382 1789