Prof. Catherine D'Este
|Work Phone||(02) 40420517|
Chair in Biostatistics
School of Medicine and Public Health
The University of Newcastle, Australia
|Office||Room 4110 Level 4 W, Hmri Building|
I am currently Professor in Biostatistics at the University of Newcastle and will soon take up a position as Chair of Biostatistics. In addition I am an Honorary Research Consultant at the Centre for Military and Veterans Health at the University of Queensland, where I was employed for 13 months during a period of leave of absence from the University of Newcastle from February 2006 to March 2007. I have accumulated some 18 years of experience and leadership skills in the fields of health, research and teaching in the national and international arena, many working in the Faculty of Health and Discipline of Statistics at the University of Newcastle. In addition to a background in Allied Health, I have an undergraduate degree in Mathematics (majoring in statistics), Post Graduate Degrees in Education and Medical Statistics and a PhD. I have been involved in academic teaching for 20 years, including the development and delivery of at least 15 courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and for on campus, distance learning and international students. In total I have been an investigator on over 35 grants to the value of over $17 million, a co-author on almost 100 peer reviewed journal articles, letters, book chapters and commissioned reports, and have participated in many local, state and national committees and working parties.
- Bachelor of Mathematics, University of Newcastle, 1985
- Graduate Diploma in Medical Statistics, University of Newcastle
- Diploma in Education, University of Newcastle
- PhD, University of Newcastle, 1996
- clinical trials
- indigenous health
- public health
I was awarded a PhD from The University of Newcastle over 10 years ago, and since then have been involved in health related research and teaching in my position as an academic within the Faculty of Health. As a biostatistician and methodologist, I have been involved in studies with a wide variety of different content areas, designs and settings. Despite this, common themes include cardiovascular disease, randomised controlled trials and challenging methodological areas such as longitudinal studies and meta-analysis. Other themes include multidisciplinary research and capacity building. I have a wide range of consulting experience, nationally and internationally. As a member of numerous state and national committees, and a consultant for additional government agencies and non government organizations, I have provided important input on quantitative and methodological issues.
In total I have been an investigator on grants to the value of over $17 million and a co-author on almost 100 peer reviewed journal articles, letters, book chapters and commissioned reports. While my role has varied across research projects and publications, I have made a vital contribution to all of these projects. This has involved providing advice on design, conduct, analysis and interpretation, as well as the actual writing of grants, journal articles and reports. In addition I have taken the lead role in various projects. The range of different content and methodological areas of my research is indicative of the importance of and need for high quality biostatistical input in health research. I believe that my input to both research grants and publications had contributed to the quality of these products.
I have successfully supervised or co-supervised to completion six research masters students and six PhD students, with an additional PhD student currently completing corrections required by Examiners. I am supervising several other current PhD students. The topics undertaken by these students cover a range of content areas and study designs, with varying levels of statistical complexity. Students have been enrolled both full time and part time, and include off campus and international students.
In addition, my roles as Deans Representative for Research Higher Degree for the Faculty of Health and Research Development Manager have given me substantial understanding of and experience in the administrative aspects of the research higher degree process, and an insight into the research training environment across the Faculty of Health and wider university.
Fields of Research
|111700||Public Health And Health Services||60|
|111299||Oncology And Carcinogenesis Not Elsewhere Classified||20|
Centres and Groups
- Hunter Medical Research Institute
- PRC - Priority Research Centre for Gender, Health & Ageing
- PRC - Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour
- PRC - Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour
Body relevant to professional practice.
- Member - Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia Teaching and Learning Committee
Committee/Associations (relevant to research).
- member - National Heart Foundation Hunter Education and Health Promotion Committee
- member - Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
- Member - Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 2007
- Editor - Grant Review Panel
- member - NHMRC Working Group on Toxicity and Risk Assessment
- Member - Medicare Services Advisory Committee Supporting Committee
Honorary Research Consultant
Centre for Military and Veterans' Health, University of Queensland (Australia)
Biostatistical and epidemiological analysis using Stata
East Asia Training Company, Singapore (3 day workshop )
Introduction to Multi-level Analysis of Health Services Data
SEACLEN (South East Asian International Clinical Epidemiology Network) Scientific meeting, Philippines (Conference Presentation - non published.)
Workshop on Distance Education
NCLEN (International Clinical Epidemiology Network) Scientific meeting, Egypt (Conference Presentation - non published.)
the Study of Health Outcomes in Aircraft Maintenance Personnel
Enrivonmental and neurodevelopmental disorders; twenty second international neurotoxicology conference, United States (Conference Presentation - non published.)
I have extensive experience with course and program coordination for undergraduate, postgraduate and national teaching programs in biostatistics, statistics and research methodological, including the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia (BCA). I have also been Academic Co-ordinator for the national and international Distance Learning Program and the postgraduate training component of the NSW Department of Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Health Officer Training Program.
In a previous role as School and Faculty Research Higher Degree Coordinator I was involved in numerous administrative activities associated with research higher degree application, supervision, candidate monitoring and management, and examination processes.
I have been a member of various School and University committees, including: Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB) Centre Advisory Committee, CCEB Centre Executive Committee, CCEB Centre Management Committee, CCEB Education Committee, BMed Admissions Committee, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Management Committee, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Post Graduate Education Committee, University of Newcastle Research Higher Degrees Committee
I have been a member of several selection panels, in particular the Head of School of Nursing (Professorial appointment) and Professor of Statistics (2 rounds) and was chair of the Statistics and Mathematics Course and Program Rationalisation Working Party
I was involved in the establishment and academic co-ordination of the Hunter Area Heart and Stroke Register for many years.
Experience in national committees external to the university includes membership of the , Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia Teaching and Learning Committee, NH&MRC Regional Grant Interview Committee, Brisbane, 1997, NHMRC Grant Review panels 2000, 2002-2005, NHMRC Working Group on Toxicity and Risk Assessment, National Heart Foundation Hunter Education and Health Promotion Committee, Medicare Services Advisory Committee, 2000-2001, NSW Health Cardiovascular Disease Working Group 1997-1998, NSW Health Stroke Expert Working Group 1998-1999 and the Cancer Council Australia Occupational Cancer Risk Working Party.
I have been a reviewer of grants for NH&MRC, South Australian Anti-Cancer Council, Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria, The University of Newcastle ARC/RMC project grant applications, National Heart Foundation, Healthway Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation, Statistical Reviewer for Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Medical Journal of Australia, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine, Venereology, and I have recently been appointed to the editorial committee of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
International administrative experience includes membership of the International Clinical Epidemiology Network (INCLEN) and South East Asian Clinical Epidemiology Network (SEACLEN); which required some aspects of governance of SEACLEN and provision of continuing education workshops at international meetings.
I have managed statistical support staff and research staff and been responsible for initiating several collaborative research projects including putting together a team of investigators with appropriate expertise and interest required to successfully undertake the project, and managing all aspects of research projects including budgets, timelines, reporting schedules, liaising with fund bodies and stakeholders and overseeing the writing and submission of the proposals and publications. In addition I have taken on leadership roles in administration and in mentoring of research candidates and junior staff.
- Public Health
I have approximately 20 years of teaching experience, including the development and delivery of at least 15 courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and for on campus, distance learning and international students. I have taught 5 different undergraduate courses at the University of Newcastle, including the public health component of the Bachelor of Medicine Program, and 10 different post-graduate or honours courses within the University of Newcastle (Faculty of Health and Discipline of Statistics) and the University of Queensland. My role in teaching has included the development of new courses for on-campus and distance learning delivery, modification of existing material for distance learning delivery and all aspects of course co-ordination and assessment. In addition I have been program convenor for the Post-graduate programs in Medical Statistics at the University of Newcastle. In 2003 I was the recipient of the Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Excellence in Teaching Award.
I have also developed and delivered numerous short courses and workshops, locally and internationally on topics such as critical appraisal, sample size, survey design, meta-analysis, analysis of longitudinal data, multi-level modeling and. data analysis and writing.
My experience in distance learning spans 15 years and includes local and international distance learning through the University of Newcastle, the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia and the University of Queensland. I have developed courses specifically for Distance Learning as well as modified on-campus courses for delivery in Distance Learning mode.
In my role as Academic Co-ordinator for the Distance Learning Program managed by the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, I was responsible for providing academic advice on courses and programs, undertaking various administrative activities associated with running national and international distance learning programs, developing the program for and facilitating Distance Learning Residentials. As part of this co-ordination I was also responsible for managing a cohort of 13 distance learning students in Zimbabwe, as part of a program funded by AusAID, as well as several cohorts of students in Japan.
My teaching philosophy revolves around trying to de-mystify statistics and ensure that students understand basic and important statistical concepts, rather than taking a cookbook approach involving rote learning and memorizing formulae and methods. Statistics can be a difficult to learn, as well as being difficult to teach. My teaching training obtained during my post graduate Diploma in Education provided a good grounding in teaching and learning principals. Key issues for consideration in teaching and assessment are the knowledge and skills which the students should have on completion of the course, and targeting material so that these can be met; and an awareness of the background and expertise of students undertaking the course to ensure that the level of material is appropriate. It is important, where possible to have an understanding of the expectations of the student. I seek to consult with a wide range of staff and potential students as part of curriculum development. Particularly in the early years of a new course, feedback is an essential issue.