Surgical Oncology Section Visitor

Dr Swee Tan


Dr Tan is the Founder and Executive Director of Gillies McIndoe Research Institute; and Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Hutt Hospital, Wellington, New Zealand. He completed medical training at Melbourne University in 1985 and plastic surgery training in New Zealand in 1992. Following craniofacial fellowships at Oxford and Boston he became Hutt Hospital’s Director of Plastic Surgery in 2000-2006 and Director of Surgery in 2007-2013. He founded the Centre for the Study & Treatment of Vascular Birthmarks in 1996. He received a PhD from Otago University in 2001 for his work in infantile haemangioma and was appointed Professor in 2008. In 2013 Dr Tan founded the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute, investigating the role of disease-specific stem cells and the renin-angiotensin system in cancer, vascular anomalies and fibrotic conditions. Discoveries by his team underscore the treatment of infantile haemangioma using anti-hypertensive medications. Building on this work, the team has demonstrated that cancer stem cells, the proposed origin of cancer, express the renin- angiotensin system in numerous types of cancer, leading to the development of a novel cancer treatment using low-cost commonly available medications. A clinical study is underway for glioblastoma patients. Dr Tan has received numerous honours and awards including the KEA World Class New Zealand Award, the
Officer of New Zealand Order of Merit from the Queen, and the Fervent Global Love of Lives Medal. He is a holder of seven patents and an author of over 150 publications. He is a member of the editorial advisory board of JPRAS, and an editorial member of PRS, PR Global Open, Frontiers in Surgery, and Translational Cancer Research.