NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence for Reducing the Burden of Colorectal Cancer by Optimising Screening


Project Details

For every one million Australians 50 years and older, an estimated 80,000 people have been over-screened with colonoscopies and 29,000 people have been under-screened with colonoscopies. The NHMRC has funded a Centre for Research Excellence: Optimising Colorectal Cancer Screening in Primary Care (CRE) to increase risk-stratified screening for colorectal cancer, to reduce the population’s disease burden from colorectal cancer and improve health services delivery.

The CRE is currently bringing together experts in clinical and non-clinical sciences:

  1. to develop the first personalised Colorectal cancer RISk Prediction tool ('CRISP') that incorporates all known genetic, pathology, family history, lifestyle factors and personal characteristics, and
  2. to develop proven methods for implementing CRISP in general practice.

The CRE program of research is following the Medical Research Council's Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions (UK) to develop and validate complex interventions. The CRE will develop an accurate individual risk prediction model relevant to the Australian population, and the Primary Cancer Care team in the Department of General Practice are designing and trialling the risk prediction tool - CRISP – for use in general practice. The tool and model will be validated using data from the Colon Cancer Family Registry, a fully characterized study of both population-based and clinic-based participants measured for known and suspected risk factors including personal characteristics, environmental risk factors, complex family history and measured genetic variants.


Associate Professor Marie Pirotta, NHMRC Career Development Fellow

Research staff:

Dr Jennifer Walker, Research Fellow
Dr Sharon Licqurish, Research Fellow
Dr Patty Chondros, Research Fellow
Jasmeen Oberoi, Research Support Officer 
Shakira Milton, Research Support Officer
Emily Habgood, Research Assistant 
Sibel Saya, Research Assistant

Administrative staff:

Kristi Milley, Administrative support
Kitty Novy, Administrative support


Centre for Epidemiology & Biostatistics, University of Melbourne;
Royal Melbourne Hospital;
Western Health,
Peter McCallum Cancer Centre;
Cancer Council of Victoria;
Department of Health Victoria
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre


NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence [APP1042021]

Research Group

Cancer in Primary Care

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

General Practice

Unit / Centre

Cancer in Primary Care

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