Prof Russell joined the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Queensland (APCRC–Q) in 2009 where she holds the position of Professor, Head of Biomedical Imaging and Prostate Cancer Models. Prof Russell is a member of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology working in translational studies in prostate cancer. Her current work focuses on the development of new animal models to study bony metastasis from prostate cancer. Prof Russell also investigates the development of theranostics, - nanotechnology for real time imaging for diagnosis and therapeutic delivery, including gene therapy of prostate cancer, and finding biomarkers from exosomes to predict treatment response in patients undergoing therapy.
Prof Russell trained in immunology at Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, where she obtained an MSc with Sir Macfarlane Burnet and a PhD with Sir Gustav Nossal, on studies of autoimmune diseases. She then trained at John Curtin School of Medical Research, Canberra, and at Kolling Institute of Medical Research. In 1984, Prof Russell changed her research focus to cancer and, with Dr Derek Raghavan, established the Urological Cancer Research Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital/University of Sydney. Prof Russell then directed the Oncology Research Centre (ORC), Prince of Wales Hospital from 1992 to 2010, as conjoint Professor of Medicine, University of New South Wales (UNSW).
Prof Russell has built an international reputation for work on bladder and prostate cancer, with expertise for establishing cell lines and rare xenografts from primary human tumours. She collaborates widely, within Australia and overseas in USA and Europe.
She has supervised several postgraduate students, and since 2008 she has delivered presentations or chaired sessions at 14 international prostate cancer meetings.
Nationally, she helped to initiate the Australian Genitourinary Oncology Group and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) (of which she is a life member). From 2007 to 2010 Prof Russell served as an inaugural Director/Secretary of the Australasian Urological and Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Group (ANZUP). She is also an Australian editor for Urological Research and a member of Movember’s Global Scientific Committee.
Prof Russell has been on peer review committees for the National Health and Medical Research Committee (NHMRC), Cancer Council Australia, Cure Cancer Australia, and regularly reviews papers from international journals.