BA, Dip Appl Psych, MA(Applied Psych), PhD
Director, Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer
Professor Melanie Wakefield is Director of our Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer. She is also a Principal Research Fellow of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, and a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has training in psychology and public health.
Her Centre conducts applied behavioural research to guide the development and evaluation of population-focused cancer prevention programs, including mass media campaigns in tobacco control, skin cancer prevention, obesity prevention and to promote organised cancer screening. Her research centre is closely integrated with Cancer Council Victoria programs that develop and deliver mass media campaigns, including the well-known Australian Quit and SunSmart campaigns, and it provides advice and input into cancer prevention policies and media campaigns to governments at state, national and international levels.
Professor Wakefield is internationally known for her rigorous population-based and experimental studies which have demonstrated the beneficial outcomes of mass media campaigns and tobacco control policies on smoking behaviour. She has published over 250 peer-reviewed journal papers, with her research funded by grants from Australian, US and international funding sources. Over the past five years, she and her research team have conducted a raft of government and non-government funded studies to evaluate aspects of Australia’s tobacco plain packaging law. Professor Wakefield is a past recipient of the NHMRC’s ‘Ten of the Best’ Research Projects (2010), the American Cancer Society Luther L. Terry Award for Outstanding Research Contribution in Tobacco Control (2012), the Public Health Association of Australia’s Mentor of the Year (2014) and a WHO Director-General’s Special Recognition Award for Tobacco Plain Packaging (2016).