Professor Carlene Wilson has been appointed as the Foundation Chair in Cancer Prevention (Behavioural Science) commencing in March 2008. The position is a collaborative venture between The Cancer Council South Australia and Flinders University and is located within the School of Medicine. The position is based in the Flinders Centre for Cancer Prevention and Control (formerly the Flinders Cancer Control Alliance), which functions as the academic/research structure of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer.

The new position was created in recognition of the key role preventive health strategies play in the primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease, including many forms of cancer. The new Chair will work with both sponsoring organisations in extending understanding of the behavioural variables that influence risk of cancer and how knowledge of these variables can be used to develop interventions that reduce incidence of cancer in South Australia.

Carlene has a PhD in psychology and an MBA. She is a registered psychologist whose previous position was as a senior research scientist with CSIRO Human Nutrition. Prior to this she worked in a range of senior research positions focussing on the examination of decision-making processes in both individuals and groups. During her time at CSIRO, she worked extensively in the Preventative Health Flagship research program where she was a foundation member of the Adelaide Colorectal Cancer Collaborative. This research consortium, consisting of Professor Graeme Young (Flinders University), Professor Deborah Turnbull (University of Adelaide) Professor Adrian Esterman (University of South Australia), Mr Steve Cole (Bowel Health Service, Repatriation General Hospital) and Ms Ingrid Flight (CSIRO), has successfully attracted a number of large NHMRC grants and other funding to examine behavioural antecedents of colorectal cancer screening. Carlene has also devoted significant research effort to the exploration of variables impacting on diet and lifestyle choices that result in obesity, especially among children and adolescents, and how these might be influenced to improve outcomes.

Carlene is interested in talking to both staff and students who have any interest in these activities. She can be contacted by email at either carlene.wilson@flinders.edu.au or cwilson@cancersa.org.au.