Postdoctoral Fellowships

Established in 2012, our Postdoctoral Fellowships are intended to provide the opportunity and incentive for high achieving early career researchers to remain involved in cancer research by providing improved career stability to enable them to concentrate their skills and talents directly into developing their research.

Postdoctoral fellowship recipient report templates

Progress and End-of-Fellowship report templates (104kb) - all recipients are required to submit the final report 3 months after the completion of research on their project (mac freindly version 72kb)

Current Recipients

Prognostic significance of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in people with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer

Researcher: Dr Vinicius Cavalheri - Curtin University
Research Description Due to symptoms of fatigue and shortness of breath, people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) report adopting a sedentary lifestyle. In people with breast cancer, diabetes, heart or lung disease, time spent physically active during the day is linked with longer survival, whereas prolonged time spent sedentary during the day is linked with shorter survival. Studies in NSCLC patients have not yet investigated the link between time spent either physically active or sedentary and survival rates. So, the aim of this study is to investigate if levels of activity predict survival in people with advanced NSCLC, information that could then be used to develop new treatment protocols.
Funding period: 2017-2020
CCWA $75,000 ($250,000 total, $75,000 pa for 2017 - 2019)
Fully supported:
Through an anonymous estate

To develop blood tests that can predict the risk of primary liver cancer

Researcher: Dr Yi Huang - The University of Western Australia
Research description: Early detection of primary liver cancer is critical for its successful management. It is important that doctors identify patients who have a higher risk of developing primary liver cancer. Patients in this high risk group then commence a screening ultrasound programme to detect early primary liver cancer. In a preliminary study, a simple blood test that can accurately predict this high risk group of chronic hepatitis C patients was developed. In this study, the aim is to validate this blood test in a larger population of chronic hepatitis C patients. A second aim is to develop blood tests to predict liver cancer development in other types of chronic liver disease. 

Funding period: 2016-2018
Funded:  CCWA $52,000 total, $75,00 pa for 2017 - 2019)
Supported In the name of: The estate of Dennis Owen

Improving fluid removal methods to optimise benefits in patients with cancer-related fluid collection in the chest

Researcher: Dr Rajesh Thomas -  Institution Institute of Respiratory Health 
Research description: Cancer-related effusion, an abnormal collection of fluid inside the chest, affects >8000 Australians every year. It usually indicates incurable cancer, and is frequently seen with lung cancer and mesothelioma. Most patients require removal of cancer fluid to relieve distressing breathlessness. Indwelling pleural catheter (IPC) is a new treatment where a permanent catheter is placed inside the chest; it allows easy removal of fluid whenever required without hospital admission. This research aims to answer key questions about the role of IPC in cancer effusion treatment. Specifically, to find out a) whether IPC treatment can reduce hospital care days compared to standard pleurodesis (talc instillation inside the chest) treatment b) whether aggressive drainage of IPC or symptom-guided drainage is superior in improving breathlessness and c) the key factors that will help predict in whom breathlessness will improve following drainage of cancer fluid. The results will guide doctors to tailor the best treatment for cancer effusion according to the patient. 
Funding period: 2016-2018
Funded:  CCWA $16,875 ($69,375 total: $45,000 $16,875 in 2017 and $7,500 in 2018)
Supported In loving memory: of Barbara Joan Marshall

Exercise as medicine in the management of mesothelioma

Researcher: Dr Carolyn McIntyre -  Edith Cowan University
Aim: To improve outcomes in patients with mesothelioma through the use of exercise as medicine.
Funding Period: 2015-2017
Funded:  CCWA $75,00($225,000 total, $75,00 pa for 2015 - 2017)
Supported In the name of: West Coast Eagles Football Club

Upper gastro-intestinal surgery as treatment for cancer: what influences its use and outcomes?

Researcher: Dr Angela Ives - The University of Western Australia
Aim: To determine what influences the use of upper gastro-intestinal surgery for the treatment of cancer in WA; and what the short and long term outcomes for patients undergoing these surgical procedures are compared to patients with similar cancers who don't
Funding Period: 2014-2016
Funded:  CCWA ($180,000 total, $60,000 pa  for 2015 - 2017)
Supported In the names of: Gavin Gillespie in memory of Edward McKinlay and Robert & Bernadette Jolly

Previous recipients

Targeting of LIGHT to tumour vessels for anti-cancer combination therapy

Researcher: Dr Anna Johansson -  WA Institute for Medical Research
Aim: Development of a strategic combination therapy to remodel poorly functional tumour blood vessels and improve efficiency of chemotherapy.
Funding Period: 2013-2015
Supported in the name of: (2013) Jill Tilly; (2014) Janifer Joy Mason

Exercise as medicine for the management of cancer

Researcher: Dr Prue Cormie - Edith Cowan University 
Project aim: To expand knowledge, inform and perform best practice and translate findings to the community for meaningful improvements in cancer patient outcomes through the use of exercise as medicine
Funding Period: 2012-2014
Supported in the name of: (2012-2014) West Coast Eagles Football Club

A program of research to optimise quality of care for people with cancer and their families: A peer review framework to promote best practice in multi-disciplinary cancer teams in Australia

Researcher: Dr Claire Johnson - The University of Western Australia
Project aim: to develop and evaluate a quality improvement framework for multidisciplinary cancer teams which will improve the quality and effectiveness of care for people diagnosed with cancer
Funding Period: 2012-2014
Supported in the name of: (2012-2013) McCusker Charitable Foundation; (2014) EY Foundation

Translational Pathology Research in Cancer

Researcher: Dr Belinda Guo - The University of Western Australia
Project Aim: To accelerate the rate at which new research findings can be used to diagnose, treat and monitor cancer progress by developing new patientspecific lab tests to diagnose and provide information about an individual's cancer.
Funding Period: 2012 -2016
Supported: In the name of: William Barrett and Sons

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