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Dr Shannon graduated in Medicine from the University of Sydney in 1987. After training in general surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and being awarded Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1995, he undertook a year as associate lecturer in Surgery at the University of Sydney with a clinical appointment to the Sydney Melanoma Unit.

He subsequently undertook a 12-month Fellowship in Head & Neck Surgery at the University of Hong Kong, followed by a two-year Fellowship in Head & Neck Oncology at the University of Tennessee, Memphis, under the auspices of the American Head & Neck Society. Returning in mid 1999, he was appointed to the Department of Head & Neck Surgery of the Central Sydney Area Health Service and also resumed his association with the Sydney Melanoma Unit.

With a principle clinical focus in Head & Neck Oncology, Dr Shannon is involved with the comprehensive management of mucosal malignancies of the upper aerodigestive tract, melanoma and cutaneous malignancy, salivary gland diseases, and surgery for thyroid and parathyroid diseases. Research interests include organ preservation protocols, the use of regional chemotherapy for advanced head and neck cancers and sentinel node biopsy for melanoma of the head and neck. This is combined with a strong interest in teaching at all levels of medical training.