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International agreement provides Otago opportunity to help shape global cancer agenda

Wellington campus

Friday, 20 April 2018

IARC MOU signing image
Professor Diana Sarfati, Head of the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, Dr Christopher P. Wild, International Agency for Research on Cancer Director, and Dr Freddie Bray, International Agency for Research on Cancer Head of Cancer Surveillance.

In a New Zealand first, the University of Otago has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Professor Diana Sarfati, of the University of Otago, Wellington, signed the agreement this week in Lyon, France.

“The new relationship will result in further research opportunities as well as putting Otago in an excellent position to take a key role in helping to shape the global cancer agenda through these additional links with the agency,” she says.

The MoU, the only such agreement the agency has with any institution within New Zealand, focuses on building capacity and specific research collaborations that will strengthen the evidence-base for cancer prevention and control.

The areas of focus include co-operation on the development of cancer registration infrastructure in the Pacific region, research studies in the domains of cancer surveillance, disease causation, and prevention, as well as exchange programmes supporting the education and training of scientists.

The IARC is the autonomous, specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is the pre-eminent global agency for cancer control and prevention, and carries out broad spectrum cancer research.

IARC has expertise in research studies of the occurrence, causes and prevention of cancer, using an interdisciplinary approach of epidemiology, laboratory and molecular sciences, biostatistics, and bioinformatics.

The University of Otago is involved in several collaborations with the agency, including work relating to cancer control among indigenous peoples globally; work relating to the development of a cancer registry hub based in the Pacific; Professor Sarfati is leading a Lancet Oncology series on cancer control in small island developing states in collaboration with the Agency; she was also invited by the Director of IARC, Christopher Wild, to be a member of the IARC Expert Advisory Committee on Social Inequalities and Cancer.

For more information, please contact:

Professor Diana Sarfati
Head of Department of Public Health
University of Otago, Wellington
Tel 04 918 6042
Email diana.sarfati@otago.ac.nz

A list of Otago experts available for media comment is available elsewhere on this website.

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