Cervical cancer screening pioneer among biotech sector’s King’s Birthday recipients


World-renowned cancer researcher Professor Karen Canfell and dozens of Australian clinicians and researchers have been celebrated in the King’s Birthday 2024 Honours List.

Leading cancer researcher and epidemiologist Prof Canfell has been appointed as a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for her eminent service to medicine, particularly through cancer research, to tertiary education, and as a mentor and leader.

Prof Canfell is the inaugural Director of the Daffodil Centre, a joint venture between the University of Sydney and Cancer Council NSW. As an epidemiologist, modeller, and a translationally-focused population health researcher, her research focusses on providing policy-makers with an evidence-base for decision making in cancer control, with her research impacting cancer-control policy nationally and globally.

Prof Canfell has led evaluations of new cancer screening approaches for government agencies in several countries. She currently leads an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cervical Cancer Control (C4) and co-leads Compass, Australia’s largest clinical trial (76,000 women) which is the first major international experience of cervical screening in an HPV-vaccinated population.

Prof Canfell’s 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 United States’ NIH and United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) to model cervical cancer prevention in the USA and globally, as well as active projects across cancer control.

Accompanying the Sydney-based Professor on the King’s Birthday 2024 Honours List are three researchers/clinicians, appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for services to medical research and/or health innovation, and 15 individuals who were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (AM).

AusBiotech heartily congratulates all recipients, including those appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)

  • Monash University’s Professor Ross Coppel (VIC) for distinguished service to science as a microbiologist, to tertiary education, to board and advisory roles, and to innovation;
  • The University of Melbourne’s Professor Jo Douglass for distinguished service to medical research, to clinical immunology and allergy, to respiratory medicine, and to tertiary education; and,
  • The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health’s Professor John Furness (VIC) for distinguished service to medical research in the field of autonomic neuroscience and neurogastroenterology.

See the full list of Honours here.