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Prof. Graham Giles

BSc, MSc, PhD
Head of Research, Cancer Epidemiology Division

Graham GilesAfter 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 (now the Cancer Epidemiology Division), and in 2001 became Deputy Director of the Cancer Control Research Institute.

He has honorary professorial appointments at Melbourne, Monash and Deakin Universities, and has served 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 cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer and skin cancer, focusing on dietary factors and family history and genetics.

Graham is the chief investigator of the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (Health 2020) and principal investigator on the Australian Breakthrough Cancer Study (ABC Study). He is 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.

Professor Giles describes Health 2020 as one of the main achievements of the Cancer Epidemiology Division.

‘In 1989 we developed the Food Frequency Questionnaire, a resource that we and others are still using today. Over the next 5 years we recruited 41,581 people to the Health 2020 study.

‘No-one else in Australia has a study of that size and variety that has collected blood and DNA from all participants. We carried out the recruitment, follow-up and analysis and in 2006 received an enabling grant that will allow us to open up the data to researchers studying other diseases.

‘We've formed many collaborations with other researchers. We've started many studies off and then worked with other researchers to grow and build on them. This is something I’m extremely proud of.’