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Cancer Society Research Collaboration directors

Professor Janet Hoek

Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington

Professor Janet Hoek imageProfessor Janet Hoek is the Director of the Cancer Society Research Collaboration (CSRC) Smokefree theme and Co-Director of ASPIRE2025, a collaboration linking New Zealand's leading tobacco researchers.  She has extensive experience in smokefree policy, including collaborations with the Cancer Society that resulted in the removal of tobacco products from open display in retail outlets and the introduction of standardised packaging.

Her research has focused on how residual tobacco marketing can be restrained to prevent smoking uptake and she has recently examined roll-your-own tobacco and capsule cigarettes, novel on-pack warnings, and smoking depictions in movies.

She leads a research programme examining e-cigarettes, which has documented smoking to vaping trajectories, smokers' information needs in relation to vaping, and factors underpinning dual use.

Janet has held four HRC and two Marsden grants as primary investigator and she is currently a named investigator on two Cancer Council Victoria projects examining alcohol warnings and tobacco industry reassurance marketing. She has served on numerous advisory groups in NZ and internationally.
Progressing Smokefree Aotearoa theme

Professor Louise Signal

Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington

Louise Signal imageProfessor Louise Signal is administrative co-lead for the Cancer Society Research Collaboration. She is a Director of five of the research themes: Cancer Care and Support, Cancer Communication, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Alcohol, Preventing Infection-Related Cancers, and Skin Cancer Prevention. She is Co-Director of the Health Promotion and Policy Research Unit (HEPPRU) and a member of the Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group.

Louise is a social scientist with a PhD in Community Health from the University of Toronto. She is the Regional Director of the South West Pacific Region of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

Her main research interests are in the fields of health promotion, public policy, and tackling inequities in health. She has a particular interest in preventing non-communicable diseases and addressing the environmental determinants of health, including work on obesity, alcohol harm minimisation, and sun safety. She is primary investigator of the highly successful HRC-funded Kids'Cam research and co-led the HRC-funded C3 Cancer Care Journeys and Clinical Decision-making research.
Cancer Care and Support theme
Cancer Communication theme
Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Alcohol theme
Preventing Infection-related Cancers theme
Skin Cancer Prevention theme

Associate Professor Richard Egan

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin

Richard EganAssociate Professor Richard Egan is a Director of the CSRC Cancer Care and Support theme and the Skin Cancer Prevention theme. He is Co-Director of the Social and Behavioural Research Unit (SBRU). Richard has extensive expertise in supportive care research, spirituality in healthcare, health promotion, and mixed methods research, particularly focusing on co-design approaches.

Richard is a co-primary investigator on Oranga Tu, a kaupapa Māori co-design prostate cancer study and will be a co-investigator on all the CSRC supportive care projects.
Cancer Care and Support theme
Skin Cancer Prevention theme

Christina McKerchar

Department of Population Health, University of Otago, Christchurch

Christina McKercharChristina McKerchar is of Ngāti Kahungunu, Tūhoe and Ngāti Porou descent. She trained as a nutritionist, and worked for a number of years for Te Hotu Manawa Māori, a national Māori Health provider. She has also worked for Agencies for Nutrition Action, a coalition group of non-government organisations who have an interest in nutrition.

Christina's PhD research was on Food availability for Māori children: A rights based approach. Is the right to healthy food realised for Māori children in their lived environments? If not, what policy options would impact on this right being realised? The study was a mixed-method inquiry informed by Kaupapa Māori research principles.

Jeannine Stairmand

Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington

Jeannine Stairmand for web 186 x 270Jeannine Stairmand (Ngāti Porou) is a Director of the Cancer Care and Support theme. Jeannine is a Pūkenga Matua | Senior Lecturer, Hauora Māori Convenor, and Research Fellow and is part of the Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) Research Group and Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare / Eru Pōmare Māori Health Research Centre. She trained as a nurse with a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health and has extensive experience working in the Māori Health and Public Health fields. Jeannine's Masters in Public Health explored factors influencing treatment decision-making in cancer consultations among whānau Māori.

Professor Christopher Jackson

Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin

Christopher Jackson imageProfessor Christopher Jackson is the Medical Director for the Cancer Society Research Collaboration. Chris is a consultant Medical Oncologist working at Dunedin Hospital and Mercy Hospital, and a Professor at the University of Otago Department of Medicine. He is a member of the Advisory Council and the Medical Oncology Work Group and Chair of the National Clinical Assembly of Te Aho O Te Kahu (Cancer Control Agency) and was previously the Medical Director of The Cancer Society.

Alongside his clinical expertise, Chris has vast experience in cancer-related research.

Senior researchers and emerging researchers

Our research has input from senior researchers with expertise specific to individual projects, in addition to the input from directors. The CSRC research team also includes and provides support for a number of emerging researchers.  Senior researchers and emerging researchers are listed on their specific research theme page:

Expert Advisory Board

Working in partnership with the directors, the Expert Advisory Board provides an external overview of the CSRC's strategic approach.

Expert Advisory Board members:

  • Professor Emma Wyeth (Ngāi Tahu)
    Professor – Māori Health | Pūkeka Matua – Hauora Māori
    Director – Ngāi Tahu Māori Health Research Unit, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago
  • Professor Jennie Connor
    Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago
  • Associate Professor Jason Gurney
    Research Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) Research Group Research Portfolio Leader, Department of Public Health, University of Otago
  • Associate Professor Colin Tukuitonga
    Associate Dean Pacific, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland
  • Professor David Whiteman
    Senior Scientist and Deputy Director of Cancer Control Group, medical epidemiologist – causes, control and prevention of cancer, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia
  • Cheryl Davies
    Tu Kotahi Maori Asthma and Research Trust, Wellington
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