Researcher

Professor Claire Melissa Vajdic

My Expertise

Cancer epidemiology

Cancer prevention

Health record linkage

Cancer health services

Fields of Research (FoR)

Epidemiology, Oncology and Carcinogenesis, Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified

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Biography

I am Head of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Unit at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health. My research program uses large-scale linked health data to drive best practice health care and reduce the burden of cancer.

I obtained my PhD at the University of Sydney.

I am recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in research using linked administrative health data. My vision is to use integrated health 'big data' to develop...view more

I am Head of the Cancer Epidemiology Research Unit at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health. My research program uses large-scale linked health data to drive best practice health care and reduce the burden of cancer.

I obtained my PhD at the University of Sydney.

I am recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in research using linked administrative health data. My vision is to use integrated health 'big data' to develop transformational interventions that prevent cancer and the avoidable consequences of cancer, and reduce unwarranted variation in health care for people with cancer. I have a strong focus on outcomes that impact public health policy and clinical practice. I apply population health science methods to inform precision medicine across the cancer control continuum of cancer prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care, to reduce the burden of care on individuals and on the health system. I also promote policy that supports good practice in the access to and use of real-world data for research.

Professional Activities, a selection:

  • Steering Committee Member, Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia
  • Management Committee Member, Cancer Clinical Advisory Group
  • Expert Working Group Member, Optimal Care Pathway: Cancer of Unknown Primary
  • Member Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Administration Expert Advisory Panel for Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
  • Access Committee Member, Register4
  • Associate Editor, Cancer Epidemiology
  • Editorial Board, Leukaemia and Lymphoma
  • Member, International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph)
  • Member, AIHW Cancer Monitoring Advisory Group

Funding Sources:

  • National Health & Medical Research Council
  • Cancer Australia
  • Cancer Council NSW
  • Cancer Council Victoria
  • Cancer Institute NSW

 


My Grants

Selection of current grants:

Australian Research Data Commons. Australian Data Partnerships Program. The LINked Data Asset for Australian Health Research (LINDAHR). CI: Vajdic

NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (APP1196900). Centre of Research Excellence in Medicines Intelligence. CIs: Pearson, Pratt, Buckley, Preen, Degenhardt, van Gool, Vajdic, Jorm, Wilson, Henry

NHMRC Public Health and Chronic Disease Grant Program. Improving palliative care services for people with an intellectual disability. CIs: Trollor, Agar, Cvejic, Currow, Strutt, Vajdic, Chye, Srasuebkul, Weise, Reppermund, Szanto, Harlum, Tuffrey-Wijne

Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (DP200100062). Realising big data’s potential to address social and health inequalities. CIs: Stephenson, Ritter, Vajdic, Engelmann

NHMRC Project Grant (APP1164852). Cancer risk in women and children after medically assisted reproduction. CIs: Vajdic, Venetis, Chambers, Sutcliffe, Opdahl, Hacker

NHMRC Project Grant (APP1142980). Integrating immunity and genetics in follicular lymphoma to establish a prognostic score fit for the modern era. CIs: Gandhi, MacManus, Seymour, Vajdic, Fink, Green, Yoon Cheah, Trau, Korbie

NHMRC Project Grant (APP 1123033). Understanding health service system needs for people with intellectual disability. CIs: Trollor, Vajdic, Lennox, Moorin, Reppermund


My Qualifications

BOptom (HonsI) - University of NSW 1989

PhD (cancer epidemiology) - University of Sydney 2002


My Awards

2010 Premier's Award for Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow


My Research Activities

I have built a research program involving the integration of health ‘big data’. Through a number of concurrent projects across three research streams my research aims to reduce the burden of cancer on individuals and on the Australian health care system.

The first stream examines the safety and quality of health services and health technologies that prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Novel population science methods will be developed and applied to large-scale linked health data resources to (i) identify high-risk patient groups and health technologies, (ii) identify unwarranted variation in cancer care and (iii) design new models of health care.

The second stream examines population data justice in Australia and will develop data governance models for the streamlined and safe access and use of enduring national linked data assets.

The third stream is large-scale, population-based genetic epidemiology. Using next generation genetic sequencing and novel epidemiological and biostatistical approaches we are generating robust evidence on the environmental, behavioural and genetic risk factors for lymphomas and brain cancer. This evidence will inform the pathogenesis of these high-burden malignancies and identify targets for intervention.

All projects are co-produced in partnership with clinicians, consumers, and implementation scientists to advance the control of cancer, reduce the consequences of cancer, and address inequalities and inefficiencies in cancer care and access to linked population-based data.


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Masters, PhD


Currently supervising

  1. Joint supervisor, Elizabeth Nguyen (Translational Cancer Research Network Scholar). PhD thesis title “Cancer health service utilisation by people with an intellectual disability”. Part-time, S1 2018+
  2. Joint supervisor, Peiwen Liao (Scientia Scholar). PhD thesis title “Health service utilisation by people with an intellectual disability”. Full-time, S1 2018+
  3. Primary supervisor, Dr Michael Odutola. PhD thesis title “Lifestyle, medical and genetic risk factors for follicular lymphoma”. Full-time, S1 2019+
  4. Joint supervisor, Damian Kotevski. PhD thesis title “Using machine learning to understand and improve care and outcomes for head and neck cancer patients”. Full-time, S1 2019+
  5. Joint supervisor, Dr Penny Mackenzie. PhD thesis title “Radiotherapy utilisation in the elderly”. Part-time, S2 2019+
  6. Co-supervisor, Tarun Malviya. PhD thesis title “Comorbidity and cancer using machine learning models”. Part-time, S1 2019+
  7. Co-supervisor, Karen Alpen. PhD thesis title “Genetic risk factors for glioma”. Full time, S1 2020+ [University of Melbourne]
  8. Primary supervisor, Michael Piza. PhD thesis title “The impact of major social disruptions on cancer care trajectories”. Part time, S1 2021+

My Engagement

Consulting projects for not-for-profit health organisations and government

 

Co-convenor, Australian Real-World Data Network (RADiANT)

 

Deputy Chair, NSW Population & Health Services Research Ethics Committee 

 

 


My Teaching

Master of Science in Health Data Science: HDAT9100 Context of Health Data Science

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Location

Centre for Big Data Research in Health, Level 2 AGSM Building (G27), University of New South Wales, Randwick NSW 2052

Contact

+61 2 9385 1424
+61 2 9385 3880