Professor of Cancer Epidemiology appointed

29 April 2010

The School of Public Health has appointed Dr Jane Young as its first Professor of Cancer Epidemiology, who will establish a cancer epidemiology and cancer services research program at the University.

The appointment and research program have been made possible by a $2.75 million grant to the School of Public Health from the Cancer Institute NSW. In addition to enabling these developments at the University, the grant will facilitate a partnership in cancer epidemiology between the School of Public Health and Cancer Institute NSW.

Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow said it was the first time the two organisations had directly worked together in the field of cancer epidemiology.

"The collaboration brings together the academic excellence of the University of Sydney's School of Public Health and its Faculty of Medicine's strength in cancer research, and the Cancer Institute NSW's excellent reputation and connections with international cancer research," he said.

Professor Bruce Armstrong, who prepared the School's application for the Cancer Institute NSW grant, said the appointment was an exciting step that would produce long term benefits for cancer prevention and control.

"Cancer research is providing the evidence that will drive improvement in cancer prevention and care, which, it is hoped, will make cancer a less feared disease and lead to improvements in survival and quality of life of cancer patients," he said.

Until now, the support available for cancer epidemiology in the University has been mainly smaller grants to support specific research projects or programs and grants for research scholars.

"Cancer epidemiology research is very important as it informs us regarding the impact of cancer in the community, identifies new ways for preventing cancer and can help measure and improve the quality and performance of cancer control services."

"By investing in cancer epidemiology we are keeping an eye on the future in that we can anticipate areas that will need additional focus and plan for them."

Professor Currow said improving the coordination of cancer care was a major challenge for health services.

"We need good scientific evidence about how best to configure health services so that all patients, regardless of their personal circumstances or where they live, receive the best cancer care and achieve the best outcomes possible. Dr Young's appointment will help bridge that gap."

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