Research Assistants

Brandi Baylock
Carissa Bonner
Stella Bu
Simon Buchanan
Esther Davis
Jolyn Hersch
Rebekah Powell
Jennifer Taylor
Jane Turner
Anne Warby




Brandi Baylock

BA (Psych)

Research Assistant

I joined the MPRU in May 2007 as a research assistant for the kConFab Psychosocial Study, which examines the role of psychosocial factors in the development of breast cancer among women from high risk families. Prior to joining the project, I worked in Student Administration at the Australian Catholic University, and as a Regional Development Coordinator of the NSW Lacrosse Association. I completed a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, degree from the College of Wooster, Ohio in 1998. My senior thesis examined the effects of race, gender, high school results, and high school racial composition on college student adjustment.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
Level 6 - North, The Lifehouse, 119-143 Missenden Rd (C39Z)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: +61 2 9351 2157
Fax: +61 2 9036 5292
Email: brandi.baylock@sydney.edu.au


Carissa Bonner

BCom/ BSc (Hons)

Research Assistant

After completing a combined Commerce/Science degree at UNSW with Honours in psychology, I spent several years managing a variety of research projects in the areas of health and decision-making. I joined CeMPED as a research assistant in July 2009, where I am working on the development and evaluation of decision aids for ovarian cancer patients and the IBIS-II breast cancer prevention trial. I plan to start a Master of Public Health in 2010, while continuing my work at CeMPED.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
Level 6 - North, The Lifehouse, 119-143 Missenden Rd (C39Z)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: +61 2 93513937
Fax: +61 2 9036 5292
Email: carissa.bonner@sydney.edu.au


Stella Bu

BSc Hons, Psychology Registration

Research Assistant

After completing my Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Sydney in 2007, I pursued a 2-year Psychology Internship at Liverpool Hospital, subsequently attaining my registration as a Psychologist in 2010. While completing my Internship, I also worked as a Research Assistant, facilitating in a multi-site research study which examined the psychosocial adaptation of chronic kidney disease patients. I joined CeMPED in November 2010, working on the FUSION project, which explores the doctor-patient family triad in shared decision-making within oncology consultations. I have a keen interest in Health Psychology and Cross-Cultural Mental Health, hence, I intend to undertake further professional development in these areas.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
Level 6 - North, The Lifehouse, 119-143 Missenden Rd (C39Z)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: +61 2 9351 3924
Fax: +61 2 9036 5292
Email: stella.bu@sydney.edu.au


Simon Buchanan

BSc (Hons)

Research Assistant

In 2007 I completed my honours degree in psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. For my thesis, I investigated peoples’ perception of those with brain injuries. In 2008 I began the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sydney. I joined CeMPED in 2009 and have been working on a project with the aim of developing standardised communication between psychologists and oncology health professionals.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
Brennan MacCallum Building (A18)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: +61 2 9036 7207
Fax: +61 2 9036 5292
Email: simon.buchanan@sydney.edu.au


Esther Davis

BSc (Hons)

Research Assistant

In 2010 I completed my honours degree in psychology at the University of Sydney. For my thesis I investigated the decision making processes underlying the effectiveness of decision aids. I joined CeMPED in 2010 and have been working on an intervention designed to reduce fear of cancer recurrence in cancer survivors. In the future I aim to begin a PhD where I can pursue my research interests in decision-making processes and patient-doctor communication in an oncological setting.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
Level 6 - North, The Lifehouse, 119-143 Missenden Rd (C39Z)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: 61 2 9351 3908
Fax: 61 2 9036 5292
Email: esther.davis@sydney.edu.au


Jolyn Hersch

BLibStud Hons (Psychology) MApplSc (Health Psychology)

Research Assistant

I am currently working with Kirsten McCaffery and Jesse Jansen on projects investigating decision-making around mammography screening for breast cancer. One strand of this research involves looking at how psychological theories about ageing and decision making can be integrated into the development of materials to promote informed choices about screening. The other strand focuses on understanding consumer perspectives regarding the issue of overdetection in mammography. These projects aim to help improve communication between the health-care community and women aged 40+ about breast cancer screening.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
A27- Edward Ford Building
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: 61 2 9036 9042
Email: jolyn.hersch@sydney.edu.au


Dr Rebekah Powell

BSc Psychology (Hons), PhD

Research Assistant & PhD Candidate

In 2009, I received a first class Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Sydney with Dr Ilona Juraskova, where we examined the uptake of the HPV vaccine amongst female university students. In 2008, I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Canberra, studying both Psychology and Law. Previously, I have worked for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing as a research and policy officer in Acute Care Strategies, consequently developing a keen interest in both health care systems and patient/family outcomes. Currently, I am working with Dr Josephine Clayton on a project focusing on end-of-life discussions with palliative care patients and families. In 2010, I plan on commencing my PhD with Professor Phyllis Butow, exploring the role of family in shared decision making within oncology consultations.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
Brennan MacCallum Building (A18)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: 61 2 9036 5298
Fax: 61 2 9036 5292
Email: rpow2608@uni.sydney.edu.au


Jennifer Taylor

BSc (Hons)

Research Assistant

I joined CeMPED in July 2010 as a research assistant on Dr Rachel Dear’s project developing the Australian Cancer Trials Online website. I am also a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology candidate, investigating women’s experiences with vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, under the supervision of Dr Ilona Juraskova and A/Prof. Elizabeth Lobb.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
D02 - The Queen Elizabeth II Research Institute for Mothers and Infants
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Phone: 61 2 9351 4105
Fax: 61 2 9351 4560
Email: jennifer.taylor@sydney.edu.au


Jane Turner

BSc(HESC)

Research Assistant

I am an Exercise Physiologist and completed my Undergraduate degree in 2009 from the University of New South Wales. I joined CeMPED in September 2010 and am currently working on two Clinical Trials:
-CHALLENGE (Colon Health and Life Long Exercise chaNGE)
-PAL (Physical Activity and Lung Cancer)

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
D02 - The Queen Elizabeth II Research Institute for Mothers and Infants
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Phone: 61 2 9036 6318
Email: jane.turner@sydney.edu.au


Anne Warby

Research Assistant

I work as a part-time research assistant for CeMPED. I provide administrative support to Dr Janette Vardy, assist with grant submissions, interview patients receiving chemotherapy for one of Dr Vardy’s research studies, provide support for the researchers in Dr Vardy’s Survivorship Research Group (SuRG), and assist with the preparation of study manuals and various other tasks. My background is originally as a senior research assistant in the finance industry for 17 years before joining the University of Sydney in 2004. I have strong skills in desktop publishing, project management, database management, and people management!

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
C22 - Repatriation General, Concord
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Phone: 61 2 9767 6775
Fax: 61 2 9767 6703
Email: anne.warby@sydney.edu.au