Cancer Epidemiology

Our Cancer Epidemiology Division is a world-leading research unit working to expand our understanding of the factors that contribute to or protect against the development of cancer, or survival following a cancer diagnosis.

Improving our efforts at cancer control is the focus of our multidisciplinary team of epidemiologists, dieticians, statisticians, data managers and support staff.

Our main areas of research are:

  1. lifestyle epidemiology (with an emphasis physical activity and diet)
  2. genetic and molecular epidemiology
  3. prostate, breast, stomach and bladder cancer epidemiology
  4. epidemiology of rare and under-researched cancers
  5. cancer risk prediction modelling

Our research platforms and programs include:

Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (Health 2020)

Australian Breakthrough Cancer Study (ABC Study)

Prostate Cancer Program

Rare or Under-Researched Cancers Program

Our aims

  1. To provide a high-quality epidemiological infrastructure for Cancer Council Victoria in terms of research resources and scientists.
  2. To generate evidence to underpin cancer control efforts by conducting high-quality research, focussed on causes of cancer, cancer genetics, cancer risk prediction and cancer survival.
  3. To build strategic and collaborative links with cancer research and control programs and related institutions, nationally and internationally.
  4. To disseminate epidemiological knowledge about cancer.
  5. To facilitate and collaborate on epidemiological research into other chronic diseases.

Our researchers

Prof. Roger Milne

Head of Cancer Epidemiology Division
BCom, BSW, BA, Grad Dip Clinical Epi, MSc, PhD

Roger is an epidemiologist with expertise in international collaboration and the analysis of genetic and lifestyle data from observational studies. He joined Cancer Council Victoria in 2013 and was appointed the Cancer Epidemiology Division’s Head in 2017.

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A/Prof Brigid Lynch

Deputy Head of Cancer Epidemiology Division
BSc, MScs Comm, PhD

Brigid is a cancer epidemiologist whose research focuses on how physical activity and sedentary behaviour are associated with cancer risk, and health outcomes for cancer survivors.

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Prof. Graham Giles, AM

Distinguished Research Fellow
BSc, MSc, PhD

Graham is a cancer epidemiologist with 40 years of research experience. He joined Cancer Council Victoria in 1983 and stepped down as Head of the Cancer Epidemiology Division in 2017.

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Prof. Dallas English

Senior Principal Research Fellow
BSc, MSc, PhD

Dallas is a cancer epidemiologist with over 35 years’ experience. He is a co-investigator on the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study.

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A/Prof Robert MacInnis

Principal Research Fellow
BSc (Hons), Grad Dip Epi Biostat, PhD

Robert is an epidemiologist with over 20 years’ experience in the design and analysis of studies examining the role of genetic and environmental causes of chronic diseases, particularly cancer.

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A/Prof. Allison Hodge

Principal Research Fellow
BAgSc (Hons), BSc, Grad Dip Diet, MEnvSc, Grad Dip Epi Biostats, PhD

Allison is an epidemiologist with over 20 years’ experience in nutritional epidemiology. She collaborates with researchers in Australia and overseas who have used dietary data from CED studies or collected dietary data using CED-developed dietary questionnaires.

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Dr Harindra Jayasekara


Harindra is a medically qualified epidemiologist. He previously worked at the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Melbourne, and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

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Dr Fiona Bruinsma

Senior Manager, Research Coordination
BSc, Grad Dip App Psych, MA App Sc (Epidemiology), DPH

Fiona is an epidemiologist with over 20 years’ experience, primarily in cancer, reproductive and perinatal epidemiology.

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Dr Julie Bassett

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Julie is a biostatistician who oversees the work of the Cancer Epidemiology Division’s Statistical Analysis Team.

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Rebecca Bergin


Rebecca is a health services researcher. Her research interests include inequities in cancer care, particularly rural-urban inequities, access and timeliness of cancer care, optimal care pathways, and understanding cancer policymaking.

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Ann Drummond


Ann trained as a reproductive biologist, and has spent much of the last 25 years on laboratory-based work and heading research teams.

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Sherly Li


Sherly is a registered dietitian whose research interests include how hereditary factors modify the association between lifestyle risk factors (e.g. diet) and risk of chronic disease.

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Want to collaborate?

Our researchers collaborate extensively with other researchers in Australia and overseas. Contact us here or contact our researchers directly.