Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

QIMR Berghofer scientist, Professor Penelope Webb has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, in recognition of her outstanding achievements as a cancer epidemiologist.

Fellows of the Academy are chosen by their peers for their exceptional achievements and contributions to a range of fields, including
research and industry.

Professor Webb, who coordinates QIMR Berghofer’s Population Health Department and heads its Gynaecological Cancers Group, has earned international recognition for her work on the epidemiology of ovarian and endometrial cancer.

“At the end of the day, I just hope to make a difference. We have these amazing women participate in our ovarian and endometrial cancer studies, knowing it probably won’t help them but it might help others,” Professor Webb said.

“I want to honour them and help the next generation of women, so they don’t have to suffer as much.”

Professor Webb has helped provide much of the definitive evidence underpinning the current understanding of ovarian cancer risk factors, and has shown that a woman’s lifestyle can influence survival after diagnosis.

She played a key role in setting up the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study, which has helped facilitate research around the world and has led to more than 250 research papers on the disease over the last 15 years.

“A lot of the work that we’ve done has really clarified that there are different types of ovarian cancer with different risk factors, and that wasn’t clear when we started,” she said.

Professor Webb has led and mentored countless young epidemiologists, and her name is well-known to lecturers and students worldwide as the lead author of textbook ‘Essential Epidemiology’.

QIMR Berghofer Director and CEO, Professor Fabienne Mackay, congratulated Professor Webb on her well-deserved election to the Fellowship.

“We are proud that one of our senior researchers at QIMR Berghofer has made such a significant contribution to the current understanding of women’s cancers, as recognised by her peers at the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.”

Other QIMR Berghofer Fellows of the Academy include Professor Mackay, Professor Georgia Chenevix-Trench, Professor Adele Green, Professor Rajiv Khanna, Professor Nick Martin, Professor Don McManus, Professor Sarah Medland and Professor David Whiteman.