Million-dollar boost for dermatology research

30 April 2018
Professor Peter Soyer
Professor Peter Soyer

Early detection of melanoma research has received a $1.195 million Partnership Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The project, led by University of Queensland Diamantina Institute researcher Professor H. Peter Soyer, will use teledermatology to improve early detection of melanoma in high-risk patients.

“Our goal is to use innovative 3D total body imaging, combined with a telehealth network, for the implementation of screening and surveillance of high-risk individuals,” Professor Soyer said.

“The grant will help fund missing research necessary to determine the feasibility of a targeted early detection melanoma screening program.

“This practical implementation project aims to communicate the benefit of 3D total body imaging to policy makers all over the world.”

As the Director of the Princess Alexandra Hospital Dermatology Department, Professor Soyer said teledermatology addressed a number of key challenges in the health system that contributed to poorer health outcomes for high-risk individuals.

“Teledermatology masters the tyranny of distance and can address other issues such as inequalities in access to specialist care, long waiting lists and the unnecessary removal of benign lesions,” he said.

“We will use the resulting data from our study to develop an implementation strategy for wider adoption within the Australian public health system.”

Acting Faculty of Medicine Executive Dean Professor Robyn Ward said the NHMRC grant benefited both UQ and the community.

“Grants like these put UQ researchers at the forefront of advancing research projects that directly benefit the community,” she said.

“It’s also great recognition by NHMRC of the wonderful research work UQ researchers are undertaking in the Faculty of Medicine.”

Professor Soyer’s study is a collaboration between UQ, Metro South Hospital and Health Service (through the Princess Alexandra Hospital), QIMR Berghofer Medical Research InstituteCancer Council QueenslandQueensland University of Technology and Canfield Scientific Inc.

Media: Professor H. Peter Soyer,, +61 7 3443 7399; Faculty of Medicine, Claire Usmar,, +61 7 3365 5118.