Director of the Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW

D.Phil. (PhD)

Professor Karen Canfell is Director of the Cancer Research Division at Cancer Council NSW and Adjunct Professor at Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. Karen holds a D.Phil. (PhD equivalent) in Epidemiology from the University of Oxford.

Karen leads a program of research which provides policy-makers with an evidence base for decision making in cancer control. Her team uses a range of methods including epidemiological analysis, clinical evaluation, systematic review and health economic evaluation.

A focus of her research has been the interplay between HPV vaccination and cervical screening in both high and low resource countries. Her team’s work underpins the findings of a recent major review of the Australian National Cervical Screening Program and has resulted in the imminent transition of the program to 5-yearly HPV testing for cervical screening. Karen is also co-Principal Investigator of the first ever large-scale trial of cervical screening in a population offered HPV vaccination, ‘Compass’, which is being conducted with the Victorian Cytology Service. She is also one of the PIs of a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) USA program grant, CISNET-Cervix, which will evaluate options for HPV prevention in the USA, and holds a number of other competitive grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia and other agencies.

In 2015, Karen received a Research Excellence Award from the NHMRC (Career Development Fellowship Level 2; top-ranked applicant). She has 100+ peer-review publications/government reports, is regularly invited to speak at international and national conferences, and is active on the scientific faculties for the major international conferences in her field.

Karen also chairs Cancer Council Australia’s Cancer Screening and Immunization Committee and is a member of the Australian Medical Services Advisory Committee’s Protocol Advisory Sub-Committee.