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Mavis Robertson Fellowship

The Mavis Robertson Fellowship was established in 2011 and is awarded to a female applicant considered by NBCF to exhibit the greatest promise as a leader in breast cancer research.

Mavis Robertson was a pioneer of the superannuation movement, holding CEO and director positions in the industry. Mavis was a Trustee of NBCF for over ten years and is a founder of the Mother’s Day Classic (MDC). MDC provides the single largest donation to NBCF, a total of over $24 million to breast cancer research since 1998. Mavis Robertson was awarded membership of the Order of Australia in 1994.

2014 Mavis Robertson Fellowship recipient

NBCF is pleased to announce Associate Professor Janette Vardy, University of Sydney as the 2014 recipient of the Mavis Robertson Fellowship.

Associate Professor Vardy, a clinician-researcher, has established an international reputation in cancer survivorship research and is recognised as a leader in this field.

Associate Professor Vardy’s project examines the chronic health issues and treatment-related long term side effects in breast cancer patients with a focus on cognitive function, fatigue, physical activity and weight management.

Breast cancer survivors have poorer health than the general population with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, as well as risk of cancer recurrence. They are also at risk of functional decline and poorer health due to treatment-related side-effects, including fatigue and cognitive impairment. Preliminary results suggest these effects may be worse in elderly cancer survivors.

The project will take a multifaceted approach which includes:

  • Developing models to investigate the impact of chemotherapy on cognitive tasks, the underlying biology, and the areas of the brain affected. It will explore ways to reduce cognitive impairment after chemotherapy.
  • Clinical trials in cancer survivors to study the effectiveness of treatments found to be successful in treating cognitive impairment in people living free of cancer.
  • Lifestyle studies aimed at increasing physical activity and healthy eating in breast cancer survivors to improve health outcomes.