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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

Roger Milne

Prof. Roger Milne

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

Roger is an epidemiologist with expertise in the analysis of genetic and lifestyle data from observational studies, and in international collaboration. 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

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 is related to cancer risk, biological mechanisms underlying risk, and health outcomes for cancer survivors.

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A/Prof Robert MacInnis

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. Harindra Jayasekara

A/Prof. Harindra Jayasekara

Principal Research Fellow
MBBS, MSc, MD, PhD

Harindra is a public health physician and cancer epidemiologist with expertise in the analysis of large observational study datasets. Harindra’s research focuses on cancer risk related to lifestyle factors, aetiology and early detection of gastro-oesophageal cancer and precancerous lesions, post-cancer outcomes including metachronous cancer, and cancer prevention policy..

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A/Prof. Allison Hodge

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 Julie Bassett

Dr Julie Bassett

Senior Statistician
BSc, MSc, PhD

Julie is a biostatistician/epidemiologist. Her work focuses mainly on investigating the influence of diet and other modifiable lifestyle factors on cancer risk using data from Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study and family-based case control studies.

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Dr Nina Afshar

Dr Nina Afshar

Inaugural Graham Giles Research Fellow
BA, BSc, MSc, PhD

Nina is a cancer epidemiologist with expertise in inequalities in cancer survival. Before joining Cancer Council Victoria in mid-2021, she worked at the University of Melbourne Cancer Health Services Research unit as a Research Fellow, and as an epidemiologist at the Victorian Department of Health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Rebecca Bergin

Dr Rebecca Bergin

Research Fellow
PhD

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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Dr Yang Peng

Dr Yang Peng

Research Fellow
MBBS, MMed, PhD

Yang is a medically qualified early career researcher and epidemiologist with expertise in the analysis of large linked national and international survey and hospitalisation datasets.

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Dr Howard Tang

Dr Howard Tang

Research Fellow
MBBS, BMedSci (Hons), PhD

Howard is a researcher with broad experience across multiple domains of clinical and biomedical research. His recent work included coordinating researcher access of UK COVID-19 surveillance data; conducting genomic and microbiomic analyses to look for links with childhood allergy and asthma; and using machine learning and cluster analysis to interrogate datasets.

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Dr Craig Pickett

Senior Research Officer
MExSci MEpi Ph.D

Craig currently works as an epidemiologist at Cancer Council Victoria, and holds a Master of Epidemiology, from the University of Melbourne. Prior to this Craig gained a Master and PhD in Exercise Science at Edith Cowan University, examining strength training methods in elite athletes.

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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

Prof. Dallas English

Senior Principal Research Fellow (Honorary)
BSc, MSc, PhD

Dallas is a cancer epidemiologist with over 35 years’ experience. His research interests include the epidemiology of breast, colorectal and prostate cancer and of gastro-oesophageal reflux 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.