It's the collection, analysis and dissemination of information about the occurrence, distribution and causes of cancer.
To perform strategic research that helps direct our cancer control efforts.
The large-scale epidemiological studies conducted by the CEC are expanding our understanding of the factors that contribute to and protect against cancer. The aim has traditionally been to find out the causes of common cancers in Australia, particularly those we can change. We've recently expanded our efforts to research less common cancers. The CEC collects and analyses data on the effect of nutrition, lifestyle, behaviour and genetic factors on cancer risk. We collaborate extensively with other researchers in Australia and overseas.
The 4 main areas of research are:
BSc, MSc, PhD
Director, Cancer Epidemiology Centre
After post-doctoral work on the epidemiology of leukaemia and lymphoma in Tasmania, Graham Giles joined the Cancer Council in 1983 as Director of the Victorian Cancer Registry. In 1986, he was appointed Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Centre, and in 2001 became Deputy Director of the Cancer Control Research Institute. He has honorary professorial appointments at Melbourne, Monash and Deakin Universities, and serves on several national and international committees including the Scientific Council of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyons, France.
His research interests include the causes of cancers of the breast, prostate, bowel and skin focusing on dietary factors and family history and genetics. He is the chief investigator of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (Health 2000). He's also a principal investigator of a number of large population-based studies of families with cancers of the breast, bowel and prostate, and melanoma, which he instigated with Professor John Hopper at the University of Melbourne.
BA, MSc, PhD
Gianluca is a cancer epidemiologist with qualifications in physics, biostatistics and a PhD in Cancer Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK. He worked for many years in Milan, Italy, at the European Institute of Oncology where he was in charge of the prostate cancer program and the cancer registry. In 2004 he joined the centre as senior research fellow. In 2010, Gianluca was appointed Honorary Principal Fellow (Assoc Prof) of the School of Population Health of the University of Melbourne.
His main interest is in prostate cancer, molecular and genetic epidemiology and risk prediction models. He is involved in the Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer Study, the Australian Prostate Cancer Family Study and in analyses related to prostate in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS).
BAgSc (Hons), BSc, Grad Dip Diet, MEnvSc, Grad Dip Epi Biostats, PhD.
Research Coordinator - Core Programs
Allison is an epidemiologist with qualifications in nutrition. After several years working in the epidemiology of type 2 diabetes in developing countries, she joined us in 1997, working on nutritional analysis in the MCCS, completing her PhD on diet and diabetes using data from the MCCS in 2006. She then left CEC to take up a post-doctoral fellowship at Melbourne University but returned in 2011 as Research Co-ordinator Core Programs.
In this role Allison provides oversight to the Biorepository, Data management, Nutritional Analysis and Health2020 teams, as well as contributing to research relating to nutrition.
BBSc, Grad Dip App Psych, MA App Sc (Epidemiology), Dr Pub Health
Research Coordinator - External Programs
Dr Fiona Bruinsma has worked in cancer and reproductive epidemiology for over 15 years. She completed a Doctorate of Public Health in 2010; the topic of her thesis was ‘Pregnancy outcomes following treatment for cervical dysplasia'. Since joining us in early 2011 she's been involved in co-ordinating studies investigating lifestyle and genetic risk factors for prostate cancer, kidney cancer and multiple myeloma. She's also involved in the development of the Forgotten Cancers Project.
Suzi joined the Cancer Council in 1981 as a clerical assistant in the Victorian Cancer Registry. In 1983, she became personal assistant to the director. Over time she's taken on further responsibilities for the administration of the Centre and became Departmental Manager in 2004.
Suzi is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the centre’s administration and is a key link with other Council units and with external institutions. She's the keeper of the corporate history of the Cancer Epidemiology Centre.
BSc, MSc, PhD
Senior Research Fellow
Laura is an epidemiologist with qualifications in biostatistics and a PhD in Cancer Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK. Laura joined the centre in 2004. She previously worked for eight years as an epidemiologist and biostatistician for the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy.
Laura is involved in analyses of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study and genetic epidemiology projects with the University of Melbourne. She's leading the research team of the NHMRC project 'Risk and prognostic factors for breast cancer of different immunohistochemical subtypes', and a Victorian Breast Cancer Research Consortium (VBCRC) project on mammographic density and breast cancer.
BSc, MSc, PhD
Senior Principal Research Fellow
Dr English obtained a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Washington in Seattle, US in 1982. From 1982 to 1999, he worked at the University of Western Australia, first in the NHMRC Research Unit in Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, and later in the Department of Public Health. His last position there was Associate Professor. He joined us in February 2000. In 2006, he was appointed Professor and Director of the Centre for MEGA Epidemiology in the School of Population Health at the University of Melbourne.
He has substantial experience as a cancer epidemiologist. While in Perth, his main research interests were in skin cancer prevention and in cancer screening. Since moving to Melbourne, he has worked on the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study.
BSc (Hons), PhD
David Hill Research Fellow
Liesel obtained a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Tasmania in 2007. From late 2007 to 2011, she took a position as a post-doc at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, gaining additional experience in genetic epidemiology. Liesel joined us in November 2012 as the inaugural David Hill Research Fellow.
Dr FitzGerald's main interest is in the genetic basis of prostate cancer, focusing specifically on genomic predictors for aggressive and fatal forms of this disease. She'll also be researching the genetic causes of rarer cancers, such as pancreatic and haematological malignancies. Liesel is involved in the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS), the Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer Study (RFPCS), the Early Onset Prostate Cancer Familial Study (EOPCFS), the Aggressive Prostate Cancer (APC) study and the Forgotten Cancers Project (FCP).
BSc (Hons), Grad Dip Epi Biostat, PhD
Senior Research Fellow - Statistical Analysis
Robert first joined the CEC in 2000 as a statistician, having previously worked for 3 years in osteoporosis research at the University of Melbourne. While working with us he obtained a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Melbourne in 2006. From 2006-2010, he worked at the University of Cambridge, UK, as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Since his return he's continued his research at the University of Melbourne and in 2011 he re-joined us as a senior research fellow.
Robert is involved in analyses of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study and genetic epidemiology projects with the University of Melbourne. His main interests include cancer risk prediction models and the association obesity has on mortality and cancer outcomes.
Prostate Cancer Program Manager
Melisa began working for the Cancer Epidemiology Centre in 2002 as an interviewer/appointment officer for the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study. In 2004, Melisa was appointed as a recruitment data manager for the Victorian Cancer Registry. This led to her next role in mid-2006 as data manager for the Prostate Cancer Program.
In mid-2008, Melisa was promoted to Prostate Cancer Program manager. In addition to coordinating recruitment and data management for existing prostate cancer studies, Melisa has established processes and systems for new studies.
Data Management Cluster
Charmaine began at the centre in 1997 as a research assistant involved in the Prostate Cancer Family Study. In 2000, she was promoted to Prostate Cancer Program manager. Charmaine played a key role in providing coordinated data management support for prostate cancer studies.
In 2007, she became responsible for the management of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study and Prostate Cancer Family Study biospecimen repository. In recent years, Charmaine has devoted her time to finding a software solution to better manage the biorepository, which now consists of almost 500,000 specimens.
Program Manager - CONFIRM
Jennifer has joined us as the CONFIRM Kidney Study Project Manager. She has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Master of Public Health (MPH). Jennifer comes with experience in Public Health research, having spent 5 years as the CONNECT Program Project Manager at the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCE). As CONFIRM Project Manager, she is responsible for coordinating study recruitment at participating sites both in Victoria and New South Wales, as well as participant follow-up and data management.
Project Manager Haematological Cancers
Cate Wilson is a project manager with qualifications in nursing, a Master of Public Health and a Master of Health Program Evaluation. Cate joined us in 2012 after working as a research officer at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in the Public Health Genetics group.
Cate currently manages the haematological cancer research projects called ‘EMMA' (about multiple myeloma) and ‘LEAF' (about lymphoma and based in NSW). Cate is responsible for co-ordinating all aspects of these projects in Victoria and is a key link for these studies with related research groups, clinicians in the field and, very importantly, consumers.
Forgotten Cancers & Online Systems Project Manager
Juliet started working at the CEC in 2006 as a casual assistant on the Health 2020 study. After a year abroad, she returned to work as an assistant to the CONFIRM project before joining the data management team. Currently on secondment from her data manager position, she is developing and managing the centres first nationwide, online study into rare cancers.