Our Research Team

Professor Joanne Aitken

Job title: Head of Research
Qualifications: BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD
Email: JoanneAitken@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Professor Joanne Aitken is Head of the Viertel Cancer Research Centre at Cancer Council Queensland and Director of the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry. She received her BSc (Honours) from Griffith University, her Science Masters from Harvard University and her PhD from the University of Queensland. She has an Honorary Professorial appointment in the School of Public Health, The University of Queensland and Adjunct Professorial appointments at Queensland University of Technology and the University of Southern Queensland.

Professor Aitken is actively involved in national and international cancer surveillance practice and policy. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Australasian Association of Cancer Registries and a member of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Cancer Monitoring Advisory Group. She is President and Chair of the Board of the International Association of Cancer Registries and sits on the Editorial Board of the World Health Organisation’s reference work “Cancer Incidence in Five Continents (Volume XII)”. She is a Ministerial appointee to the Advisory Council of Cancer Australia. She has led or co-authored over 300 scientific publications in journals including The Lancet, The Lancet Oncology and the Journal of Clinical Oncology and her work has been cited over 18,000 times in the scientific literature.

Professor Peter Baadeour research team Professor Peter Baade

Job title: Senior Manager, Descriptive Epidemiology
Qualifications: PhD
Email: PeterBaade@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Professor Peter Baade is an experienced biostatistician, working at the Cancer Council Queensland since 2003, where he leads a research program designed 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 is the co-lead of the Australian Cancer Atlas project (https://atlas.cancer.org.au). He holds Academic (Griffith University) and Adjunct (Queensland University of Technology) Professor appointments. He has published/in press over 270 peer reviewed manuscripts with over 30,000 citations and a h-index of 59 (source: Google Scholar), along with 24 monographs, and received more than $12million in competitive research funding. He has served as Guest/Associate Editor for several international journals, and has co-supervised several PhD and Research Masters students to completion.

Adjunct Associate Professor Danny Youlden

Job title: Senior Manager, Childhood Cancer Research
Qualifications: BSc
Email: DannyYoulden@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Danny Youlden is a biostatistician with more than 30 years of experience, mostly working in health-related fields. He has been at Cancer Council Queensland since 2005 and is currently the Senior Manager of Childhood Cancer Research as well as holding an adjunct appointment as Associate Professor at the Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University. Danny has a pivotal role in national and international projects to place the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry at the forefront of population-based epidemiological research into childhood cancer. He has co-authored more than 80 peer-reviewed papers since joining CCQ and has been the lead author on several major reports.

Dr Belinda Goodwinour research team Dr Belinda Goodwin

Job Title: Manager, Health Systems and Behavioural Research
Qualifications: PhD
Email: BelindaGoodwin@cancerqld.org.au

Dr Belinda Goodwin was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow at Cancer Council Queensland in July 2019 and now manages the Health Systems and Behavioural Research team. She was awarded her PhD in 2017 and has a strong research background in psychology and health behaviour. Belinda is an adjunct research fellow at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and plays a key role in the collaborative research program “Building Regional Resilience in Cancer Control” addressing disparities for regional and remote cancer survivors. She also leads investigations into the barriers and facilitators of colorectal cancer screening aiming to inform the optimal design and implementation of interventions to increase participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. As an early career researcher, she has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications yielding 430 citations.

Dr Jessica Cameronour research team Dr Jessica Cameron

Job Title: Research Fellow
Qualifications: PhD
Email: JessicaCameron@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Dr Cameron is a biostatistician with a passion for using statistical modelling to understand health inequalities and risk factors for disease. She has particular interests in understanding how cancer outcomes depend on where you live. She has extensive experience in Bayesian hierarchical modelling for spatiotemporal modelling and clustering.

Dr Cameron is a Research Fellow in the Descriptive Epidemiology research department of Cancer Council Queensland and has an adjunct appointment at Queensland University of Technology. She has supervised several Masters students to completion and is currently co-supervising a PhD student and a MPhil student.

Current research priorities: the Australian Cancer Atlas; spatio-temporal disease mapping; geographical variation in participation in cancer screening; geographical variation in cancer treatment; sociodemographic inequalities in cancer outcomes.

Dr Paramita Dasguptaour research team Dr Paramita Dasgupta

Job Title: Research Fellow
Qualifications: PhD
Email: ParamitaDasgupta@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Dr Paramita Dasgupta is currently a research fellow in Descriptive Epidemiology team at Cancer Council Queensland, where she has worked since late 2009. Her principal research interests are in looking at geographical and spatial variations in cancer outcomes, cervical screening and the survival experience of Australians diagnosed with cancer, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and carrying out systematic reviews of published literature. She has been an author on over 30 peer-reviewed published papers with more than 500 citations and a number of reports.

Dr Upeksha Chandrasiriour research team Dr Upeksha Chandrasiri

Job Title: Project Coordinator and Data Analyst
Qualifications: PhD
Email: UpekshaChandrasiri@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Dr Upeksha Chandrasiri completed her PhD in 2015 and is currently working as the project coordinator for the Australian Cancer Atlas and a data analyst in the Descriptive Epidemiology Team at the Viertel Cancer Research Centre. Dr Chandrasiri is responsible for managing ethics and data custodian approvals for the Cancer Atlas from each state and territory in Australia, reporting progress and responding to queries related to the study. In addition, she contributes towards manuscript preparations and data analysis for external and internal statistical queries at Cancer Council Queensland.

Dr Habtamu Bizuayehu

Job Title: Senior Research Officer
Qualifications: PhD, MPH in Epidemiology, BSc
Email: habtamubizuayehu@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Dr Habtamu Bizuayehu is working as the project coordinator for the Australian Cancer Atlas within the Descriptive Epidemiology research team. He is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the Australian Cancer Atlas project’s progress, communicating with internal and external stakeholders, managing ethics approvals and contributing to epidemiological research. Dr Bizuayehu has been awarded a PhD in Public Health and Behavioural Sciences, a Master’s degree in Epidemiology and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. He has authored and co-authored 25 peer-reviewed publications that have been cited over 4000 times, and his research outputs have been presented at 11 conferences. He has been granted research project funds valued $241,810. He is experienced in large longitudinal data management and analysis, evidence synthesis using systematic reviews, causal modelling, and survival analysis. Dr Bizuayehu has international work experience while working in Ethiopia for over seven years as a researcher and lecturer. He has engaged in collaborative research with the Global Burden of Disease and contributed seven research outputs that were published in world-class journals, including the Lancet.

Dr Kou Kou

Job Title: Senior Research Officer
Qualifications: PhD
Email: KouKou@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Dr Kou Kou completed her PhD in 2019, investigating the burden of oesophageal cancer in Shandong, China. She is currently working as a Senior Research Officer in the Descriptive Epidemiology team. Her principal research interests are geographical and socioeconomic variations in cancer outcomes, survival outcomes of Australian diagnosed with cancer, and outcomes of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Queensland, Australia. She has been an author on 16 peer-reviewed published papers with more than 70 citations.

Dr James Retellour research team Dr James Retell

Job Title: Senior Research Officer
Qualifications: Bsc(Hons), MBioStat, PhD
Email: jamesretell@cancerqld.org.au

Dr James Retell is a Data Analyst with the Descriptive Epidemiology team, responsible for the reporting of cancer statistics and managing the Queensland Cancer Statistics Online (QCSOL) resource. He completed his PhD in cognitive neuroscience in 2015 and a Master of Biostatistics in 2021, where he studied delays to breast cancer treatment in Queensland women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. He is passionate about research and statistics and has applied his expertise across numerous research fields, including, population health, health psychology and cognitive neuroscience.

Jamie Hoggour research team Jamie Hogg

CCQ/QUT PhD candidate

Background: Jamie Hogg is a current Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) PhD candidate, being jointly funded by CCQ and QUT. After completing his Masters thesis at CCQ in 2020, he has returned to CCQ to undertake his PhD. As a member of the Australian Cancer Atlas team, his research is related to the spatial variation of cancer risk factors at the small area level across Australia. Initially, this will involve exploring statistical methods to impute risk factor prevalence estimates across Australia. Using these risk factors, the research will investigate any similarities between the spatial patterns in the prevalence of cancer risk factors and cancer incidence.

Dr Larry Myersour research team Dr Larry Myers

Job Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Qualifications: PhD
Email: LarryMyers@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Dr Larry Myers started his post-doctoral research position in the Health Systems and Behavioural Research team at Cancer Council Queensland in May 2021. Shortly after he was awarded his PhD, which investigated behaviour change interventions to promote participation in population bowel cancer screening programs. Larry has a strong background in health psychology and quantitative data analysis. He is currently applying these skills to develop ways to increase participation in the Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Program to facilitate early detection. Larry also plays a key role in projects aimed to improve outcomes for cancer survivors living in regional and remote Australia.

Dr Lizzy Johnstonour research team Lizzy Johnston

Job title: Early Career Research Fellow
Qualifications: Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours) (Class I), PhD
Email: lizzyjohnston@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Dr Lizzy Johnston is an Early Career Research Fellow in the Health Systems and Behavioural Research team at Cancer Council Queensland. In this role, Lizzy is working on several projects to support the health and wellbeing of cancer survivors and their caregivers living in regional and remote Queensland. Lizzy is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and completed her PhD at the Queensland University of Technology and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. Her doctoral research investigated dietary intake, care, and communication after treatment for ovarian cancer.

Dr Laura Anderson

Job title: Early Career Research Fellow
Qualifications: BPsychSci(Hons I), PhD
Email: LauraAnderson@cancerqld.org.au

Background: Dr Laura Anderson is an Early Career Research Fellow in the Health Systems and Behavioural Research Team at Cancer Council Queensland. She has a research background in health psychology and was recently awarded her PhD from the University of Queensland. Her PhD research involved understanding sexual behaviours in children and young people to promote sexual health. Laura is interested in applying these skills to promote health behaviour change and cancer risk-prevention. Currently, she is working on improving participation in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program by identifying potential interventions to increase kit completion and kit return. Interventions will target people’s planning and actions to facilitate screening kit return.