Previous Travel Grant recipients

PC4  2018 Training Award: Rowena Ivers

Qualifications: MBBS FRACGP PhD MPH DipRANZCOG Grad Dip Rur Health
Location: Sydney
Role: Academic GP, Senior Research Fellow
Project:  Develop and pilot a tool to assess if best evidence is being translated into practice for Aboriginal people in the area of cancer care, when compared to Optimal Care Pathways.

Rowena Ivers is an academic GP  and has also trained as a public health physician. She is Senior Medical Officer at Illawarra Aboriginal Medical Service and is part of their Cancer Care Team, delivering care for Aboriginal people with cancer and their families. She is also engaged as a Research Fellow at University of Sydney.

PC4  2018 Training Award: Rebecca Venchiarutti

Qualifications: BSc, MNutrDiet
Location: Sydney
Role: PhD Candidate (University of Sydney) and Research Officer (Surgical Outcomes Research Centre)
Project:  Self-reported management of possible symptoms of head and neck cancer: a primary care vignette survey.

Rebecca is a researcher and PhD candidate investigating geographical variations in pathways to diagnosis of head and neck cancer, and patterns of care in NSW. She is collaborating with researchers and clinicians in Sydney and the Mid North Coast of NSW. At the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe), Rebecca works on projects relating to colorectal cancer, pelvic exenteration surgery for advanced pelvic cancer, and cancer care coordination.

PC4  2018 Training Award: Rebecca Bergin

Qualifications: BA&Sc(Hons), PhD
Location: Melbourne
Role: Senior Research Officer, Cancer Council Victoria
Project: Exploring rural and urban pathways to lung cancer diagnosis

Rebecca Bergin is a Senior Research Officer in the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer at Cancer Council Victoria. She recently completed her PhD examining rural-urban disparities in time to care for Victorians with colorectal cancer. Rebecca’s research seeks to understand pathways to diagnosis and treatment, and cancer policy-making, to improve outcomes for all.

Rebecca Bergin

PC4  2018 Training Award: Karolina Lisy

Qualifications:  BSc(Hons) PhD
Location: Melbourne
Role: Senior Research Fellow
Project: Meeting the needs of cancer survivors through shared care: developing guidance for implementation.

Update: Dr Karolina Lisy is a Senior Research Fellow in the Survivorship and Living Well After Cancer group within the Department of Cancer Experiences Research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Her current research interest is cancer survivorship, and her specific aims are to understand survivors’ outcomes and experiences over time, to develop and evaluate effective and sustainable models of survivorship care, and to reduce health disparity and achieve equitable outcomes for all people living with and beyond cancer.

PC4  2018 Training Award: Nicole Rankin

Qualifications: BA (Hons) MSc, PhD (Behavioural science in relation to medicine)
Location: Sydney
Role: Senior Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer
Project: Interventions to reduce diagnostic delay in lung cancer: a systematic review.

Update: Dr Nicole Rankin is an implementation scientist with over 20 years’ experience in cancer control. Since commencing in a research career pathway in 2012, Nicole has been instrumental in establishing the T3 evidence into practice lung cancer program at Sydney Catalyst Translational Cancer Research Centre at the University of Sydney. She has published 21 peer reviewed papers in the past five years and has been a Chief Investigator on over $3.4M research grants and consultancies in the same period.

PC4  2017 Training Award Announcement: Xiaoping Lin

Qualifications: BA (Arts and Economics), Grad Dip Psych, PostGrad Dip Psych, PhD
Location: Melbourne
Role: Researcher
Project: Managing cancer survivors with comorbidities: practice and views of GPs.

Xiaoping Lin is an Early Career Researcher based at Monash University in Melbourne. She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne and has been working with Professor Danielle Mazza on the PC4 supported LEAD trial.

Xiaoping Lin

PC4  2017 Training Award Announcement: Jinfeng Ding

Qualifications: MSN
Location: University of Western Australia
Role: Student
Project: Assessment of GP-led Palliative Care in Western Australia: a Pilot Study of End-of-Life Care Registry

Jinfeng Ding is a registered nurse and has completed Bachelor and Master’s degree in Nursing in China. He has been funded by the China Government Scholarship to study a PhD in public health at the University of Western Australia since August 2016.

Jinfeng Ding

PC4  2017 Training Award Announcement: Rebecca Bergin

Qualifications: BA&Sc(Hons)
Location: Melbourne
Role: Senior Research Officer, Cancer Council Victoria

For the first time this year we have also offered the Training Award to assist members establish new collaborations and develop their research skills. Rebecca Bergin is an Early Career Researcher based at the University of Melbourne. Rebecca will be travelling to Perth to visit researchers and program managers who are involved in developing, implementing and advocating for policies in relation to patient pathways and to further her knowledge of data linkage

Rebecca Bergin

PC4  2016 Research Grant Award Announcement: Dr Brian Fernandes

Qualifications: MBBS
Location: Royal Prince Albert Hospital
Role: Junior Medical Officer
Project: A systematic review into the impact of polypharmacy on cancer survival

Dr Elysia Thornton-Benko

PC4 / RACGP 2015 Research Grant Award Announcement: Dr Elysia Thornton-Benko

Qualifications: BSc. MBBS (Hons) PhD FRACGP
Location: Bondi Road Doctors
Role: General Practitioner/Family Physician
Project: Pilot Study of a Cancer Survivorship Triage Clinic.

This project proposes a dedicated survivorship triage clinic using a triage tool, to aid in the early identification of physical, psychological and social problems in cancer survivors, and will facilitate early intervention strategies and promote healthy lifestyle behaviours to improve long term health. The triage clinic will separate those survivors that will require regular specialist reviews, from those survivors that are likely to require less frequent specialist review and would benefit from regular GP community review, as well as those survivors that can be almost wholly managed and followed up in the community with the GP (or other), with specialist linkage as felt appropriate.

PC4 / RACGP 2014 Research Grant Award Announcement: Dr Lawrence Tan

Qualifications: MPH, FRACGP, GDDiv, DCH, DRCOG, MBBS (Hons),
Location: Department of General Practice, University of Western Sydney & MyHealth Wetherill Park, Wetherill Park, NSW
Role: Senior lecturer & General Practitioner
Project: Patient perspectives on shared care following colorectal cancer surgery.

Update: This project has been publicised through cancer support groups, community organisations, Spanish and Vietnamese health programs on SBS radio and through GPs and specialists who have patients with colorectal cancer. Interviews have been conducted with a number of participants and data is being analysed. We are still recruiting for Vietnamese and Spanish-speaking participants who have had colorectal cancer and would like to share with us their perspectives on shared care following the surgery.


PC4 / COSA 2013 Training Award for Bone Health in Cancer Announcement: Rachel Roberts

Qualifications: BNutrDiet (Hons)
Location: Flinders University
Role: Student Dietitian
Research Interests: Cancer and dietetics
Project: Which strategies have been demonstrated to be effective in managing bone loss in breast and prostate cancer survivors post hormone therapy and how well are they employed in clinical practice?


PC4 / COSA 2013 Training Award for Primary Care in Cancer Announcement: Dr Kylie Vuong

Qualifications: BSc(Med), MBBS, MIPH, FRACGP
Location: Cancer Epidemiology and Services Research, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney
Role: PhD Candidate
Research Interests: Melanoma risk prediction, Primary prevention
Project: Feasibility of using a melanoma risk prediction tool in general practice.

Update: The project was presented to the 2014 World Cancer Congress and 2014 Sydney Catalyst Post Graduate and Early Researcher Symposium where it was awarded the Best of the Best Oral Presentation. This Australian-specific melanoma risk prediction tool, developed using self-assessed melanoma risk factors, has been incorporated into a web-based application and a randomized-controlled study aimed at assessing the efficacy of personalized melanoma risk information and prevention messages in improving prevention behaviours among general practice patients is now being conducted.


PC4 / CNSA 2012 Training Award Announcement: Dr Isabella Zhao

Qualifications: PhD, BNurs (Hons)
Location: School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology
Role: Research Fellow
Research Interests: Cancer and palliative care research, especially in symptom management
Project: A pilot study of a multicomponent non-pharmacological intervention to reduce breathlessness and associated symptoms in people with cancer


PC4 / RACGP 2012 Research Grant Award Announcement: Dr Joel Rhee

Congratulations to Dr Joel Rhee, who has been awarded the 2012 PC4/Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) training award.
Qualifications: BSc(Med), MBBS(Hons) FRACGP
Location: School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales
Role: Senior Lecturer
Research Interests: Primary care research focusing on advance care decision-making and planning; primary palliative care research on barriers to GP involvement in palliative care
Project: Exploring the feasibility and acceptability of a case finding approach to patients nearing the end of life; and evaluating the accuracy of GPs’ clinical acumen and clinical prognostication tools in predicting the death of practice patients.

Update: Thirty-four GP participants have been recruited to the study, and interviews are now being conducted with palliative care physicians and nurses to explore their perspectives on the role of general practice in planning and providing palliative care.


PC4 / RACGP Inaugural 2010 Research Grant Recipient: Dr Kylie Vuong

Qualifications: MBBS, BSc(Med), MIPH
Location: School of Public Health, University of Sydney
Role: Academic GP Registrar
Research Interests: Preventative care, remote health and health equality
Project: Feasibility of tailored skin cancer prevention in general practice

Update: The project was presented to the 2011 Clinical Oncology of Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting where it was awarded the Best of the Best Oral Presentation in Primary Care. The study showed a greater increase in sun-related knowledge in the patient group who received sun protection advice from their general practitioner after completing a skin cancer risk assessment tool at 1 month follow up. However, there were no differences between patient groups in sun-related knowledge with a longer follow up. The research findings have been published in BMC Family Medicine.