Karen Canfell

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Professor and Director, The Daffodil Centre at the University of Sydney and Cancer Council NSW, Australia


Professor Karen Canfell is the inaugural Director of the Daffodil Centre, a joint venture between the University of Sydney and Cancer Council NSW. She is an epidemiologist, modeller, and a translationally-focused population health researcher. She has led evaluations of new cancer screening approaches for government agencies in several countries. She currently leads Compass, which is the first major international experience of cervical screening in an HPV-vaccinated population. Her team’s work underpins the 2017 transition of the National Cervical Screening Program in Australia from Pap smears to 5-yearly HPV-based screening. She currently has active collaborative modelling grants from the US NIH and WHO to model cervical cancer prevention in the USA and globally. Her work as one of the co-leads of the WHO Cervical Cancer Elimination Modelling Consortium was presented and discussed at the Executive Board of the World Health Assembly in 2020 and supported the formal resolution by WHO to support the cervical cancer elimination initiative, launched in late 2020. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, the 2021 recipient of Cancer Australia’s Jeanne Ferris Award for her contributions to gynecological cancer research, and 2020 recipient of the NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award for Leadership in Health Services Research.


Updated: September 2021