Our People
Jean Claude Dusingize

Tell us about what you do at QIMR Berghofer.

I work in the Cancer Control Group Lab as a skin cancer epidemiologist. I use epidemiologic and statistical methods to analyse data from the largest studies including the QSkin cohort (the largest skin cancer study in Australia), the UK Biobank, as well as data held by public health agencies. My research aims to understand the role of environmental and genetic factors in causing skin cancer.

What inspired you to choose medical research as your career?

During my medical training a decade ago, I realised many patients were admitted to hospital with health conditions that could be prevented. As prevention is better than cure, I opted to orient my career in disease prevention through medical research.

What is one of the most exciting projects you are working on right now?

Finding and treating cancer at an early stage can save lives. I am currently evaluating whether genetically determined benign skin lesions such as melanocytic nevi are risk‐markers for cancer. If true, such associations may be clinically important since they suggest that nevi are readily observable “risk markers” for cancer, and likely share common causal factors.

What could be achieved in your field of research with additional funding support?

Additional funds would allow us to develop the most cost-effective and non-invasive tailored interventions for early detection of the most dangerous form of skin cancer and at the same time reducing the number of unnecessary skin excisions which cause a huge economic burden to the health care system and individuals.

What is one of your big predictions for your field in the next 10 years?

With novel early detection technologies of skin tumours and advances in treatment (for example immune checkpoint inhibitors) trends in skin cancer mortality will keep decreasing.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

Spending time with my family, cardio exercise and reading.

Name two people, living or dead, you’d want to sit next to at a dinner party.

Nelson Mandela for his legacy of peace and justice and Alfred Nobel for “dictating that his estate be used to bestow prizes to those who shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind”.

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