Prof Christobel Saunders AO, MB BS, FRCS, FRACS, FAAHMS,
2018 International Women’s Day WA Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee and 2017 WA Scientist of the Year is internationally recognised as one of Australia’s most prominent research-orientated cancer surgeons. She has substantially contributed to many aspects of breast cancer research including clinical trials of new treatments, psychosocial, translational and health services research and is active in several areas of surgical oncology cancer research, with a particular emphasis on breast cancer. She has performed research for >25 years evaluating the efficacy and utility of therapy for early breast cancer. She sits on boards of a number of cancer organisations including the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group and is President of the Breast Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Prof Matt Bellgard is the Director of eResearch at the University of Queensland and previously was the Director of the Centre for Comparative Genomics (CCG) and Professor and Foundation Chair of Bioinformatics at Murdoch University. As Director of the CCG he was responsible for the expansion of the Centre into molecular therapy. Under his leadership, he led the Centre into exponential growth. Prof Bellgard is a computer scientist with a PhD from UWA in the field of artificial intelligence. He has a particular interest in rare disease research and is co-leader of the Australian consortium of an FP7 €12 million project, which provides an international integrated platform connecting registries, biobanks and clinical bioinformatics for rare disease. He leads the design and deployment of eHealth solutions in patient registries and biobanks. His work includes developments in sequence alignment and artificial intelligence, bacterial bioinformatics, whole genome analysis, and eResearch within a range of disciplines.
Dr Neli Slavova-Azmanova is a Research Associate with Cancer and Palliative Care Research and Evaluation Unit, University of Western Australia. She completed her medical and PhD degrees in Bulgaria, with substantial part of the PhD studies conducted at Institute Pasteur, Paris. Neli relocated to Australia in 2007 and worked initially at the Cancer Research Unit, The Canberra Hospital, and subsequently at the Laboratory for Cancer Medicine, Western Australian Institute for Medical Research. Neli’s current research interest is in value-based healthcare, quality of health care services and outcome measures in cancer. Neli’s research work spans from the development of a peer review process for cancer multidisciplinary team meetings, to evaluation of cost, clinical application and guideline adherence of invasive investigations for lung cancer patients, assessment of quality of treatment recommendations for breast cancer patients; out-of-pocket expenses of patients treated for cancer; and quality of communication between hospital cancer specialists and general practitioners.
Christopher Reid is a cardiovascular epidemiologist with appointments as Research Professor in both the School of Public Health, Curtin University and the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. He was appointed as a John Curtin Distinguished Professor in 2018 and is Director of the Monash and Curtin Centre’s of Cardiovascular Research and Education (CCRE) and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Outcomes Improvement (2016-2020). He holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellowship (2018-2022) in addition to being the Chief Investigator on an NHMRC Program Grant (2016-2020) focusing on cardiovascular disease prevention. His major research interests include clinical outcome registries, randomized controlled trials, and epidemiological cohort studies.
Jason Micallef will assist the project by shaping cost effective initiatives that address key barriers to translation. This may entail: Sourcing professional training workshops/material where there is a knowledge gap that creates a barrier to successful implementation, providing and sourcing professional development where there is a behavioural or leadership gap to successful translation, delivering organisational diagnostics or organisational development initiatives (focus groups, surveys etc) where barriers to successful implementation are due to organisational culture or organisational design, provide design assistance for service improvement projects where there are process barriers that impede optimal patient care and referral. provide coaching support to program leads and clinicians tasked with creating change, linking the program to local and international experts related to the above areas and develop a change management and clinician engagement strategy for the program
As a senior policy advisor to the Minister for Health in WA and a Department of Health executive within the System Policy and Planning Division Violet is in a unique position to influence and translate research and policy into practice across WA Health. This has been demonstrated over the last 11 years as Violet has continued to lead and be instrumental in the delivery of many key initiatives established in the 2005 Cancer Framework including the development of the Network and the Cancer Nurse Coordination Service. Violet has not only implemented system wide change but individual clinical changes based on research outcomes. Violet is currently developing the translation of the Optimal Care Pathways for Cancer developed as a part of the National Cancer Plan into local practice across WA.
Dr. Zeps has been recently appointed as the inaugural Group Director of Research for Epworth HealthCare. Prior to that he was the Director of Research at St John of God HealthCare from 2012 to 2016 and head of their translational cancer research program since 2008. He is an Adjunct Professor at Eastern Clinical School of Monash University, School of Health Sciences at Curtin University and Centre for Comparative Genomics at Murdoch University. He was a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee from 2006-2012, and the Research Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) from 2009-2015. He is a board member and chair of the Cancer Biology Group, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia and chair of the Primary Care Collaborative Cancer Trials Group (PC4) Advisory committee and a member of the PC4 Scientific committee. He is the Australian representative on the Ethics and Policy Committee of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) and was recently appointed Co-Chair of the Communication Committee of the ICGC-Precision Medicine initiative.
Dr Alexius Julian serves as the Acting Group Director Digital and Technology, and Chief Medical Information Officer for St John of God Health Care, helping to determine IT strategy for the Group’s 17 hospitals. Alexius provides the link between the technical IT delivery teams at SJGHC and the clinicians at the coal-face; liaising between both, to ensure requirements are understood, needs are met and clinical workflows make sense. He leads the innovation function which is currently piloting a number of initiatives which aim to deliver benefits to Divisions and the Group, as well as test concepts from the digital strategy.
Nicole Dickerson is the Administration Officer for the CIC Cancer program and has extensive professional experience in providing effective project support across a range of research areas. Nicole provides administrative assistance liaising with clinicians, researchers, students and health care providers.
Professor Jim Codde became the Director of the Institute for Health Research at The University of Notre Dame Australia in 2015 with a research career that spans three decades and several disciplines. His initial research undertaken in the University Department of Medicine at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) explored the effect of dietary oils on experimental models of hypertension. He subsequently worked in the University Department of Surgery at RPH as part of a team seeking to improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment using a number of novel targeting strategies that involved chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hyperthermia and immunotherapy. Upon joining Western Australian Health Department in the late 1980’s, his interests expanded into public health and health service research reflecting his roles as Director of the Epidemiology Branch and Director Clinical Planning in the South Metropolitan Health Service.
Dr Angela Ives (PhD, MSc – Public Health, Dip App Sc – Diagnostic Radiography) is a Research Fellow for CaPCREU, UWA. Angela has worked in both the public and private health sector in both Australia and the UK. She has experience of quantitative and qualitative research methods, has published widely and gained over a one million dollars in grant and scholarship funding. Her work involves developing and undertaking research and evaluation projects to improve care for patients, and their families, diagnosed with cancer in WA. She has worked on many projects whose results have been utilised to guide policy and improve care locally, nationally and internationally. This has included work to improve care for young women diagnosed with breast cancer who have a concurrent or subsequent pregnancy, guided changes in data retrieval methodologies and service review to improve care using data linkage and patient reported outcomes.
Lesley Millar has many years’ experience working in health management and program/project management in the health, government, not for profit, and private sectors. She has undertaken evaluation, research and management review projects within the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Victoria University, Continence Foundation of Australia, University of Western Sydney; Western Sydney Area Health Service; South Western Sydney Applied Nursing Research Unit; Department of Veterans’ Affairs; Ministry of Health for the Government of Fiji; and commercial organisations. Lesley is a registered nurse with cancer and supportive care knowledge gained whilst managing psychosocial and support services for Cancer Council Western Australia, a leading, independent, evidence-based cancer organisation.
Associate Professor Caroline Bulsara is an academic qualitative researcher in the Institute for Health Research and is research coordinator for the School of Nursing & Midwifery at the University of Notre Dame. Previously, Caroline has worked across WA universities externally to build health research capacity in a number of health related areas. Caroline was inaugural research centre manager for a large WA based not for profit organisation for a period of 3 years. Caroline has a strong interest in community and consumer participatory research including expertise in working with disadvantaged and marginalised populations and has worked on several consumer and community directed studies. Caroline's main areas of strength and expertise include evaluative research, qualitative research methodologies and community participatory research. Caroline is strongly committed to the giving a ‘voice to’ and enabling the wellbeing of all community members through research and works with a number of community organisations.
Professor David Preen is the Chair in Public Health at the School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia (UWA). He is also the UWA node Director for the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Medicines and Ageing (CREMA) and was the Director of the UWA Centre for Health Services Research from 2006-2015. Professor Preen has been involved with conducting public health and health services research using population-based linked data, for almost 15 years to study areas including: i) cancer service delivery, ii) pharmaco-epidemiology, iii) chronic disease management, and iv) methodological advances using medical record linkage. He has published over 180 scientific papers, most of which have used whole-population linked administrative health data, has been awarded research grants as a chief investigator and has received multiple prizes at national and international level for his work. Due to his expertise in public health research using linked administrative data, Professor Preen has been a member of over 20 high-level international, national and State Boards or committees since 2006.
Dr Claire Johnson's work is focused on the translation of research into clinical practice and the use of research for improving care and outcomes for people with cancer and at the end of life. Numerous projects directly informed improvements in practice and policy. Notably, the 2011 evaluation of the WA Psycho Oncology Service (WAPOS) resulted in the service adopting a tiered approach to psychological care, the embedding of psycho-oncologists at cancer centres, and the WAPOS team adopting a leadership role in the state. Similarly, the Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration program (of which Dr Johnson is a CI) is now embedded in the majority of palliative care services in Australia. In research of non-specialist palliative care provision in WA, Dr Johnson is now working with policymakers, clinicians and health administrators to embed a process for early identification of people with life-limiting illnesses in the acute care setting and to promote discussions about end of life.
Anne McKenzie in her role as a consumer advocate and manager has supported consumers to be involved in the development of dissemination strategies for translational aspects of a number of projects in WA.
Prof Bulsara has a wealth of statistical experience and is valuable to this research team, especially his expertise in the analysis of longitudinal research data. He will provide leadership and intellectual input to the statistical components of this project. He will review analyses, and participate in the presentation and publication of results. Professor Max K. Bulsara has a BSc Mathematics (Hons Statistics) from the University of Kent, UK (1979), MSc Statistics from the University of Kent (1981), and a PhD (with Distinction) in Biostatistics/Epidemiology from the University of Western Australia (2008). Professor Max Bulsara is the chair in Biostatistics at University of Notre Dame, and adjunct professor at School of Population Health, at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and honorary professor of University College London (UCL). He has been involved in epidemiological studies for over two decades both nationally and Internationally.
Grahame Bowland is a Senior Software Developer at the Centre for Comparative Genomics, Murdoch University. Grahame has worked on a number of ICT projects in the healthcare space which have produced research outcomes, while also delivering gains for clinical and administrative staff. Grahame will bring expertise in data and metadata management, data linkage, as well as software development and systems architecture to the CIC Cancer project.