Professor Karen Canfell


Karen Canfell headshot

Professor Karen Canfell is the inaugural Director of The Daffodil Centre and is a Professor within the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, a National Health and Medical Research Council Leadership Fellow, and holds a D.Phil (PhD) from the University of Oxford.

An epidemiologist, modeller, and a translation-centred population health researcher, Karen’s work focuses on providing policymakers with an evidence-base for decision making across the cancer control continuum. Karen has led multiple impact and economic evaluations for government agencies in Australia and internationally.  

Karen’s work has underpinned the transformation of the National Cervical Screening Program in Australia, which in 2017 moved to HPV DNA testing to replace Pap smears. As one of the co-leads of the WHO Cervical Cancer Elimination Consortium (CCEMC), Karen has led the development of the WHO impact and cost-effectiveness case for cervical cancer elimination. She is a past keynote speaker at the World Cancer Conference and World Cancer Leader’s Summit, a past NHMRC national research excellence award-winner, and the 2021 recipient of Cancer Australia’s Jeanne Ferris Award for her contributions to gynaecological cancer research. 

Karen also initiated and co-leads the COVID-19 and Cancer Global Modelling Consortium (, which is a collaborative endeavour to model the global impact of the pandemic on cancer prevention, screening, and outcomes.