Top Fellowship for Griffith Health professor

Griffith Health Institute Professor of Preventative Health, Suzanne Chambers has been awarded the prestigious William Rudder Fellowship for 2012 by Cancer Council Queensland (CCQ).

The award is a travelling fellowship which Professor Chambers will use to deepen her research connections in the US, most notably through the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute in New York and MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, two of the largest cancer centres in the world.

Professor Chambers, also a registered nurse and psychologist, was recognised for her work focussing on support services and programs for people with cancer, especially men with prostate cancer.

“When I started in the area in the 1990s there was nothing for prostate cancer, nobody was even really interested in it,” said Professor Chambers.

“I started visiting urologists and asking, what should we do? They came back with some great answers and we started some new programs and research. We’ve been following some men for over ten years.”

Professor Chambers has published nearly 100 peer reviewed papers in some of the most respected journals in the world and is currently a chief investigator on an NHMRC project grant, five Cancer Australia Grants and two CCQ partnershipgrants.

The William Rudder Fellowship is unique in that it alternates each year from a recipient in Australia (to travel abroad) to a recipient overseas (to travel here)recognising the crucial role personal connections and networks play in facilitating cutting edge research.

Past winners have included former Australian of the Year Professor Ian Frazer, Dr Annette Stanton from UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor Richard Edwards from the University of Otago, Wellington.

“It’s vital Australian researchers connect with international experts,” Professor Chambers said.

“It’s one of the reasons the Cancer Council is so good, they understand this. I feelvery honoured to have been given this fellowship, very fortunate.

“The thing about working with such an effective non-government organisation is they CCQ are so agile. If you have a great idea and a compelling argument,they’ll do it and back you,” said Professor Chambers.

Cancer Council Queensland Board Member, Professor Robert ‘Frank’ Gardiner, acknowledged Professor Chambers’ remarkable output and energy in granting her the fellowship.

“We have long appreciated Suzanne’s remarkable intelligence and the impact her research has had on patient outcomes,” he said.

“Cancer Council Queensland is very proud to facilitate the broadening impact Suzanne will have in the important field of cancer treatment and look forward to the results and connections she brings home.”