Professor | Distinguished Scientist+61 7 3362 0281
Professor Penny Webb has an MA in biochemistry from Cambridge University and a D.Phil in cancer epidemiology from Oxford University. She spent a year working on the Monograph’s Program at the International Agency for Research in Cancer in Lyon, France, before moving to Brisbane in 1995. Professor Webb taught epidemiology in the Public health Program at the University of Queensland for 5 years and, during this time, wrote the first edition of her highly successful textbook ‘Essential Epidemiology: An introduction for Students and health Professionals’ which is now in its fourth edition and has sold more than 35,000 copies worldwide (Webb et al., CUP 2005, 2011, 2017, 2020).
Professor Webb moved to full-time research at the QIMR Berghofer in 2000 and now heads the Gynaecological Cancers Group which she established in 2008. She is also Coordinator of the Public Health Department. Professor Webb is a founding member of the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS) Group and the Australian National Endometrial Cancer Study (ANECS) Group, principal investigator of the Ovarian Cancer Prognosis and Lifestyle (OPAL) Study and leads studies that aim to identify factors that influence risk of, and survival following ovarian and endometrial cancer.
2016-current: Coordinator, Population Health Department, QIMR Berghofer
2013-current: Honorary Professor, School of Public Health, University of Queensland
2013-current: Adjunct Professor, School of Public Health & Social Work, Queensland University of Technology
2011-current: Principal Research Fellow & Head, Gynaecological Cancers Group, QIMR Berghofer
2003-2011: Senior Research Fellow, QIMR Berghofer
2000-2003: Research Fellow, QIMR Berghofer
1998-2000: Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Queensland
1995-1998: Lecturer in Epidemiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Queensland
1994-1995: Epidemiologist (Monographs Programme), International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
Professor Webb’s research interests cover all aspects of the epidemiology of ovarian and endometrial cancer from aetiology and prevention, to diagnosis, patterns of care, quality of life and survival. A particular focus is on the role of environmental (non-genetic) factors in the causation of cancer and also the development of sequelae and survival after a diagnosis of cancer. Much of this work is conducted within three national population-based studies, the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS, 2002-6), Australian National Endometrial Cancer Study (ANECS, 2007-9) and Ovarian Cancer Prognosis and Lifestyle Study (OPAL, 2012-20), and within two international consortia, the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC) and Epidemiology of Endometrial Cancer Consortium (E2C2). Funding has recently been obtained for a new project (the OVARIAN Study, 2020-25) that will link data from existing routine health data collections to study aetiology, pathways to diagnosis, managements and outcomes for women with ovarian cancer in Australia.
Professor Webb is also leading a new Queensland trial (PROMISE Study, 2020-2024) to assess the use of electronic tools to collect patient-reported outcome data (e.g. symptoms and side-effects) in routine cancer care.
2002-current: International Epidemiology Association
2019: Lifetime Award, Australasian Epidemiology Association
2018: Best oral presentation prize at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australia and New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group
2013: Named as one of Qweekend’s ‘Best and Brightest’
2011: Webb & Bain. Essential Epidemiology 2nd Edition. ‘Highly Commended’ at British Medical Association Medical Book Competition: Public Health Category
2006: Webb & Bain. Essential Epidemiology. ‘Highly Commended’ at British Medical Association Medical Book Competition: Public Health Category
1995: DPhil (Cancer Epidemiology), University of Oxford, UK
1986-1989: BA Hons/MA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK