Our Research Team

Professor Joanne Aitken

Qualifications: BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD

Job title: General Manager, Research

Email: JoanneAitken@cancerqld.org.au


Background: Professor Joanne Aitken is Head of the Viertel Cancer Research Centre at Cancer Council Queensland, Director of the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry, a member of Cancer Australia’s Advisory Council and President of the International Association of Cancer Registries. She is a cancer epidemiologist who is internationally recognized for her work in the epidemiology of skin cancer and cancer in children. She has a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Griffith University, a Master of Science in Epidemiology from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Queensland. She has Honorary Professorial appointments in the School of Public Health, The University of Queensland and in the Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, and Adjunct Professorial appointments at Queensland University of Technology and the University of Southern Queensland. Professor Aitken has over 250 publications in journals including Nature, Nature Genetics, The Lancet and the Journal of Clinical Oncology and her work has been cited over 13,000 times in the scientific literature.


Professor Peter Baade

Qualifications: PhD, AStat

Job title: Senior Manager, Descriptive Epidemiology

Email: PeterBaade@cancerqld.org.au

Peter-baade-portraitBackground: Professor Peter Baade is Senior Manager of Descriptive Epidemiology in the Viertel Cancer Research Centre. He also holds several Professorial adjunct university appointments, is an Honorary Fellow of the Menzies School of Health Research and an Accredited Statistician with the Statistical Society of Australia. His primary research interests are to describe the patterns of cancer-related outcomes both nationally and internationally, and specifically to better understand why these outcomes depend on where people live and the role of remoteness, area disadvantage and ethnicity on these patterns.

He has published/in press 170+ peer reviewed manuscripts with over 4,900 citations and a h-index of 36 (source: Google Scholar), along with 20+ monographs. He is a guest editor for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Peter is currently Chief Investigator on two NHMRC Project grants. Over his career he has received more than $8million in total grant funding, including an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (Level 2) and eight NHMRC Project Grants (2 as CIA).

He currently co-supervises 3 PhD students, with 2 PhD students and 1 research masters student recently completed. He is an invited reviewer for national (including NHMRC) and international funding bodies, regularly provides reviews for national and international scientific journals (85+ since 2011) and examinations for thesis dissertations and is on the Statistical Advisory Board for BMJ Open. Peter is a current member on the NHMRC CDF review panel (2014-) and an invited member of the Health Program Board for the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information. His work has directly informed government strategic policy in reducing cancer inequalities based on residential location.

Research interests: To describe the patterns of cancer outcomes, particularly those in Queensland, and to quantify and better understand the geographical variation and inequalities in those outcomes.

Current research projects: Determinants of geographical inequalities in colorectal and breast cancer survival; a multilevel investigation of inequalities in clinical and psychosocial outcomes for women after breast cancer; Bayesian statistical models for understanding outcomes for women screened with breast cancer; patterns of care, comorbidities and quality of life of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with lung, head & neck, breast or gynaecological cancers; investigating spatial and demographic inequalities for men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Queensland; cancer among Australian children (Australian Paediatric Cancer Registry).

Adjunct Associate Professor Danny Youlden

Qualifications: BSc

Job title: Senior Manager, Childhood Cancer Research

Email: DannyYoulden@cancerqld.org.au

danny-youlden-portraitBackground: Danny Youlden has been with Cancer Council Queensland since June 2005. His primary role is to analyse population-based cancer data from both the Queensland Cancer Registry and the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry, as well as contributing biostatistical support for other research programs within the CRC. He has been the lead author on several reports examining the descriptive epidemiology of cancer in Queensland as well as childhood cancer throughout Australia. Prior to joining CCQ, Danny spent 15 years working as a statistician for Queensland Health and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Research interests: Descriptive epidemiology of cancer, paediatric cancer, second primary cancers, skin cancer.

Current research projects: Implementation and evaluation of international childhood cancer staging guidelines; development of a web-based reporting system for Australian paediatric cancer statistics; survival patterns after multiple melanomas; state, national and international cancer incidence projections.


Associate Professor Nicholas Ralph

Qualifications: PhD, MClinPrac(Hons), BN, RN

Job title: USQ/CCQ Senior Manager, Health Systems and Psycho-Oncology

Email: NicholasRalph@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Associate Professor Nicholas Ralph is the joint Senior Manager for Health Systems & Psycho-Oncology between Cancer Council Queensland and the University of Southern Queensland. He leads a cross-organisational team investigating ways to address key challenges facing health systems across the areas of health systems, cancer survivorship and cancer prevention. The goals of this research team include identifying and targeting system and individual-level factors leading to poorer prognosis, improving outcomes for Queenslanders affected by cancer, with a particular emphasis on solving the unique challenges associated with those affected by social inequities.

He also holds a substantive position as Research Program Director (Cancer Control and Survivorship) at the University of Southern Queensland and an Adjunct Associate Professorship at the University of Technology Sydney. He is currently a reviewer for numerous leading journals including the European Journal of Cancer Care, BMC Health Services, Systematic Reviews, Journal of Clinical Nursing and Collegian.

He has authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications, three textbooks, and attracted over $2 million dollars in research and project funding to date. He is also a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship. Currently, he co-supervises PhD and Masters students. He is a previous Australian Nurse of the Year (2012) for innovation and a Registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Professor Jeff Dunn, AO

Qualifications: PhD, GAICD

Job title: Strategic Research Leader in Social and Behavioural Sciences

Jeff-profileBackground: Professor Jeff Dunn AO is the Strategic Leader in Social and Behavioural Sciences at Cancer Council Queensland. He is currently Chief Executive Officer, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) and is the Professor and Chair of Transformative Social Science at the University of Southern Queensland. He also holds Professorial appointments with the Griffith University School of Medicine and University of Queensland’s School of Social Science. He has a central focus on the social and behavioural aspects of cancer control, spanning across the continuum of research, prevention, early detection, supportive care and quality of life. He is actively involved in research in this field and has dedicated his career to the development of novel supportive care strategies that underpin cancer prevention and improve community awareness of the disease.

Jeff continues to serve on the Board of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and is the Secretary and a Director of the International Psycho-oncology Society (IPOS). He currently serves, among other things, as an editorial Board member for Psycho-Oncology Journal and is also the Chair of the UICC’s Asia Pacific Cancer Society Training Grants Programme. Jeff is the Immediate Past President of the Asian Pacific Organization for Cancer Prevention (APOCP).

Jeff was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in June 2014 for distinguished service to medical administration through leadership roles with cancer control organisations, and to the promotion of innovative and integrated cancer care programs.