Senior Members

Fran Boyle
Josephine Clayton
Rachel Dear
Haryana Dhillon
Jesse Jansen
Laura Kirsten
Barbara Mullan
Melanie Price
Sian Smith
Lyndal Trevena
Janette Vardy




Associate Professor Fran Boyle

AM MBBS FRACP PhD

Senior Member of CeMPED, A/Prof. Oncology and Director, Patricia Ritchie Centre, Mater Hospital

I am a Medical Oncologist at North Sydney’s Mater Hospital, where I am Director of the Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care and Research, and Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Sydney. I graduated from University of QLD Medical School with Honours and a University Medal. I undertook my initial physician training at the Mater in Brisbane, before transferring to Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney to complete my Medical Oncology training and a PhD in Pharmacology. My clinical practice focuses on breast cancer and melanoma, in association with the newly formed Melanoma Institute of Australia at the Mater. My current research interests include clinical trials of new cancer treatments, psychosocial and supportive care and communication. I was honoured with Membership of the Order of Australia in 2008 for services to cancer research, advocacy, policy development and professional education.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
Northern Clinical School and Mater Hospital
Patricia Ritchie Centre, Mater Hospital
Rocklands Rd
North Sydney NSW 2060

Phone: +61 2 9923 7290
Fax: +61 2 9954 0536
Email:

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Associate Professor Josephine Clayton

MBBS (Hons) PhD FRACP FAChPM

Senior Member of CeMPED

I am a Palliative Care Physician at Greenwich and Royal North Shore Hospitals and Associate Professor of Palliative Care in the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney. I have worked in collaboration with CeMPED (Previously MPRU) since 2000, including completion of a PhD entitled "Enhancing Doctor Patient Communication in Palliative Medicine". Currently I am undertaking further research in collaboration with CeMPED on issues relating to discussion of prognosis and end-of-life issues with palliative care patients and their families. I am passionate about research that may enhance the palliative care of patients and their families facing an advanced progressive life limiting illness. In particular, my research interests are in the area of: optimizing doctor/patient communication regarding prognosis and end-of-life issues; exploring ways to enhance the psychosocial and existential aspects of care, health system research regarding end-of-life care, and physical symptom control.

Contact Information
HammondCare Palliative and Supportive Care Service
Greenwich Hospital
Pallister House P.O. Box 5084
Greenwich Sydney
NSW 2065
Australia

Phone: 9903 8252
Email:

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Dr Rachel Dear

MBBS (Hons 1) PhD FRACP

Senior Member of CeMPED and Senior Lecturer Cancer Medicine

I am a Medical Oncologist at the Mater Hospital in North Sydney, and a Senior Lecturer in the Central Clinical School at the University of Sydney. I graduated from medicine at the University of New South Wales with first class honours. I undertook basic physician’s training at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst followed by advanced medical oncology training at Westmead Hospital. I completed a PhD titled “The potential of clinical trial registries to inform cancer care in Australia” at the University of Sydney in 2012. My clinical practice focuses on breast cancer. My current research is focusing on a Cochrane Systematic Review titled “Combination versus sequential single agent chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer” and a study investigating if the control arm of randomised cancer clinical trials is consistent with the standard of care. I am also interested in clinical trials of new cancer treatments, and research optimizing doctor-patient communication about treatment options.

Contact information
Cancer Medicine, Central Clinical School
Room 391, Blackburn Building, D06
The University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: +61 2 9351 6171
Fax: +61 2 9351 4317
Email:


Dr Haryana Dhillon

BSc MA(Psych) PhD

Senior Member of CeMPED and Research Co-ordinator

I am a behavioural scientist working as an academic researcher in the field of psycho-oncology and healthcare communication. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney, working for a number of years in investigator-initiated cancer clinical trials. From 2005-2009 I completed a PhD aimed at improving informed consent for colonoscopy under the supervision of Prof. Phyllis Butow and A/Prof. Martin Stockler. During this time, I also contributed to the establishment of Survivorship Research Projects with Dr Janette Vardy, these include cognition and cancer, as well as physical activity and cancer studies.

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 5392
Fax: +61 2 9036 5420
Email:

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Dr Jesse Jansen

MA PhD

Senior Member of CeMPED and Research Fellow (Academic Research Psychologist)

In my research, I focus on the role of emotion and cognition in health communication and decision making, and how communication and decision quality can be improved (e.g. decision
aids). My research interests include patient-provider communication (shared) decision making, affect and emotion, health literacy, and aging. I am particularly interested in applying and testing psychological theories to health communication and decision making settings. My research uses mixed methods both in clinical (mostly oncology) and lab-based settings including video observations, experimental studies and RCTs. I am part of the Screening and Test Evaluation Program, an NHMRC program grant at the Sydney School of Public Health.

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

Phone: +61 2 9351 5178
Fax: +61 2 9351 5409
Email:

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Dr Laura Kirsten

BSc (Psych) MAppSc (Beh Hlth Sc) DPsych (Clinical) PhD

Senior Member of CeMPED and Research Fellow (Academic Research Psychologist)

I am a clinical psychologist with both clinical and research expertise in psycho-oncology. Since completing my PhD at the former Medical Psychology Research Unit (now part of CeMPED), I have been employed in a tertiary oncology service, the Nepean Cancer Care Centre, providing psychosocial care to adults with cancer and their families. In this centre I provide services to medical oncology, radiation oncology, haematology and palliative care. I currently chair the NSW Psychologists in Oncology group. I have a broad range of research interests including sexuality and cancer, cancer support groups, sleep interventions for cancer patients and stress and burnout in health professionals working in oncology.

Contact information
Nepean Cancer Care Centre
Sydney Medical School

Nepean Cancer Care Centre, PO Box 63, Penrith NSW 2751
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Phone: +61 2 4734 3467
Fax: +61 2 4734 2330
Email:

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Dr Barbara Mullan

BA MA PhD

Senior Member of CeMPED

I am a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a member of the Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. I am an experienced lecturer with ten years experience of teaching health psychology. My experience of administration is extensive and I have been a unit of study leader, the coordinator of research teaching at undergraduate level, the route leader of the MSc programme, examinations officer and senior welfare tutor as well as programme director of higher degrees. At present I am the Co-ordinator of the new Masters in Applied Science (Health Psychology) which started in 2007. Continuing on from my PhD research in Health Psychology, my research interests include social cognition models in predicting and intervening to improve health particularly food related behaviours including food safety behaviours, nutrition and obesity, the role of gender in health, sexuality and ill health, sex education and communication skills training.

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

Phone: +61 2 9351 6811
Fax: +61 2 9036 5223
Email:

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Dr Melanie Price

RN RM BSc (Hons) PhD (Psych Med)

Senior Member of CeMPED and Senior Research Fellow

Since completing my Honours degree in Psychology in 1993, I have been working and studying in the area of psycho-oncology. The focus of my PhD was the role of psychosocial factors (life event stress, depression, coping, social support) in the diagnosis of breast cancer and I have continued working in this area. Since 2001, I have been involved in a large prospective Australasian study of psychosocial factors in the development of breast cancer in women from high-risk breast cancer families in collaboration with the Kathleen Cunningham Consortium for Research into Familial Breast Cancer (kConFab). This study is ongoing and will continue for at least 10 years. My other primary area of interest is the role of psychosocial factors in the outcome of cancer. I am currently involved in a study of Quality of Life, psychological distress and unmet needs in women with ovarian cancer and their partners. This project is being conducted in collaboration with the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study. The outcomes measures include both physical and psychological morbidity. Of special interest, is the supportive care needs of not only patients, but of family caregivers, with current studies including carers of women with ovarian cancer, bereaved cancer carers and carers of patients with brain tumours. Other interests include quality of life, life event stress and depression, communicating risk information and communication skills training.

Contact information
Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making
Transient Building F12
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Phone: +61 2 9351 3916
Fax: +61 2 9036 5292
Email:

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Dr Sian Smith

BPsych (Hons) PhD

Senior Member of CeMPED and Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Since 2005, I have been involved in several research projects developing and evaluating patient decision aids for use in decisions about cancer screening. I am particularly interested in the role of literacy and numeracy in health communication and decision making and how to improve communication and decision support for adults with lower education and literacy. In 2009, I completed my PhD (a mixed methods project) which focused on developing and evaluating a decision aid tailored for adults with lower education and literacy who were deciding whether to screen for bowel cancer. I currently hold a post-doctoral research fellow position within the Screening and Test Evaluation Program, an NHMRC program grant led by Professors Les Irwig, Jonathan Craig, Glenn Salkeld and A/Prof. Petra Macaskill which is in its 3rd round of program grant funding.

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

Phone: +61 2 9351 7186
Fax: +61 2 9351 5049
Email:


Dr Lyndal Trevena

MBBS(Hons) MPhilPH PhD

Senior Member of CeMPED and Associate Professor

My PhD thesis was about the application of evidence in general practice, completed in 2006. I have been involved in developing and evaluating a number of decision aids and clinical practice guidelines for Australian GPs and patients in areas relevant to general practice (FOBT screening, HRT, MMR vaccination, brain injury in the community, whiplash, acute low back pain, diabetes education, chronic disease self-management and early diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis). I am particularly interested in evidence-based decision-making, tailoring evidence to the clinical context. Having been exclusively in clinical practice for 15 years, I started my academic career 8 years ago. I hold two NSW Cancer Council project grants, one NHMRC project grant and a number of other grants from organisations such as NSW Cancer Institute International Collaboration Grant, Motor Accident Authority research grant and Foundation for Informed Decision-Making (US). I have published 26 peer-reviewed journal articles and currently have four new papers under review, six book chapters published, and I recently co-authored a book for consumers entitled Smart Health Choices. I have three international collaborations (one with Oxford University, one with Leeds University and one with North Carolina University) and in 2006 was made a Research Associate in the Department of Primary Care, Oxford University. This research output has occurred whilst coordinating of the Population Health Theme of the University of Sydney’s Medical Program and more recently being seconded by the Dean of Medicine half-time to lead a new international office for the Faculties of Health as Sub-Dean (International). I remain clinically active within a group practice in Sydney and am a core member of CeMPED. I write and speak regularly to the general practice sector, journalists & consumers about evidence-based decision-making & my decision tools have been used widely in practice. I also supervise two PhD and three Honours students.

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

Phone: +61 2 9351 7788
Fax: +61 2 9351 5049
Mobile: +61 414 418124
Email:

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Dr Janette Vardy

BMed(Hons) FRACP PhD, BMUSED

Senior Member of CeMPED and Principal Research Fellow

I am a medical oncologist working as a clinician researcher at the Sydney Cancer Centre. I graduated from the University of Newcastle and completed my residency at Concord Repatriation and General Hospital and specialty training in Medical Oncology at the Sydney Cancer Centre. From 2003-2006, I completed a Clinical Research Fellowship at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto and a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Dr Ian Tannock. In 2007 I commenced a NSW Cancer Institute Fellowship, allowing me 70% protected research time, and 30% clinical time, based at Sydney Cancer Centre with clinical work at Concord Repatriation General Hospital. My major research interests are Survivorship and supportive care, in particular cognitive function and fatigue in patients after cancer treatment.

Contact information
C22 - Concord Hospital
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Phone: +61 2 9767 5000
Email:

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