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Workshop update: academics collaborate on cancer research

On the 9 November 2016, the CCWA Cancer Epidemiology Network (CCEN) held a workshop at the Wollaston Conference Centre in Perth with the theme ‘Enhancing Collaborative Cancer Epidemiological Research in WA’.


Professor Lin Fritschi opening the workshop.
Professor Lin Fritschi opening the workshop.

The aims of the workshop included learning about the research interests of Western Australian researchers, identifying potential areas for collaboration in cancer epidemiology and facilitating new collaborative partnerships and professional networks.

The workshop brought together 24 researchers from Curtin University, the University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University, the Department of Health, the University of Melbourne, the CCWA and the Telethon Kids Institute. From the 24 invited researchers, eight were from Curtin. In addition, two consumers who have interest in cancer research, and are members of our Consumer Advisory Committee, attended the workshop.

Associate Professor Alison Reid giving a five minute presentation.
Associate Professor Alison Reid giving a five minute presentation.

Professor Lin Fritschi opened the workshop by affirming the aims of the CCEN, and giving a brief overview of the day program. Attendees then enjoyed four presentations on cohort studies in Western Australia and interstate: the Raine Study, Ten to Men, the Busselton Health Study and the Health in Men Study. The presentations provided basic information on the cohort, a summary on what has already been done in relation to cancer, ideas on what the cohort could contribute to cancer research and information on data sharing.

After the presentations, 20 speakers each gave a five minute presentation on their educational background, current job position, past and current cancer epidemiology research, project ideas for potential collaborations and how they could contribute to other people’s studies.

Participants from Curtin have several skills they could contribute to other people’s studies, including expertise in assessing work hazards, descriptive epidemiology, quantitative and qualitative research methods and interventions.

Speed networking session.
Speed networking session.

After lunch, attendees participated in a speed networking session, where they spoke to one another for five minutes per person and discussed potential areas of collaborations in cancer epidemiology. A particular bonus was that some consumers participated in this session, which gave the researchers an opportunity to explain their research in plain language.

Feedback from attendees was uniformly positive, and we plan to follow-up with the attendees to record collaborations that occurred as a result of this workshop.

Dr Sonia El-Zaemey

Research Fellow

School of Public Health