About Professor Anne Cust

I am an epidemiologist and NHMRC Career Development Fellow whose research focuses on cancer causes, prevention and early detection, with a strong emphasis on melanoma and other skin cancers, and translational outcomes impacting policy and practice. I lead the Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research group in the Sydney School of Public Health and co-lead the ‘Prevention, Risk and Clinical Detection’ research theme at the Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney. Major areas of research that I am leading include: melanoma risk assessment and prediction; risk-stratified cancer prevention, screening and surveillance; melanoma behaviour change interventions; genomic epidemiology, and aetiological research. I have been appointed to leadership positions in international consortia (e.g. Genes, Environment and Melanoma (GEM) Consortium Steering group, Genetics of Melanoma (GenoMEL) Consortium Analysis Team) and have led several large, multidisciplinary epidemiological and intervention melanoma research studies, funded through a range of sources including the NIH, NHMRC, and Cancer Institute NSW. I currently lead a large randomised controlled trial to test the efficacy of an innovative strategy to motivate skin cancer prevention behaviours in the Australian population; a modelling study of the benefits, harms, cost-effectiveness and resource implications of a national risk-stratified melanoma screening program in Australia; and a major component of an international NIH-funded project on the genetic epidemiology of melanoma. The majority of my research publications are highly cited (H-index 45).

I led the sunbed research that was instrumental in leading to the government bans on commercial solaria now in effect across all states of Australia. In 2015, I received an inaugural Sax Institute Research Action Award to recognise this sunbed and melanoma research and my subsequent ‘behind-the-scenes' translation efforts that made a significant impact on health policy. I worked with leading melanoma consumer advocates, modelled estimates of the number of melanoma cases that could be avoided each year by banning sunbeds, attended stakeholder meetings and responded to the solarium industry on behalf of government. I presented this research nationally and internationally to scientific and lay audiences.

In 2018, I received the prestigious NSW Premier's Award for Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow. In 2017, I was awarded an inaugural Sydney Research Accelerator (SOAR) Fellowship from The University of Sydney. In 2013, I was shortlisted for the L'Oréal Australia and New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowship and in 2007, I was awarded the NSW Premier's Award for Outstanding Research Scholar.

As primary supervisor, I have supervised three PhD students and two Masters students to completion. Five PhD students under my primary supervision have obtained competitive top-up PhD scholarship awards, and one received a Faculty prize for a thesis awarded without emendations. I have also been involved in coursework teaching in the Sydney School of Public Health for more than 10 years. I am President of the Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA); and on the Executive of the COSA Epidemiology Group, and a member of the Australian Melanoma Management Guidelines sub-committee.

My education includes BSc and BA degrees from The University of Queensland (1998), a MPH(Hons) degree with a high distinction average from the University of Sydney (2002), and a PhD in cancer epidemiology (2007) undertaken jointly (under a cotutelle agreement) between the University of Sydney and the Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France (based primarily at the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer).


Selected publications

A full list of publications can be viewed on Anne's Academic Profile page: http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/people/academics/profiles/anne.cust.php