I am a field epidemiologist with 28 years experience in applied public health research. I have a particular interest in the epidemiology and prevention of skin cancer (particularly pigmented moles and melanoma) and finding "real-world" solutions to public health problems with a view to reducing morbidity and mortality in Queensland's high-risk population. I am the Director and Principal Research Fellow of  JCU's Skin Cancer Research Unit (located Ground floor of the Townsville Hospital), and hold an Adjunct Associate Professor position in the University of Southern Queensland's Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences.

My doctoral research focused primarily on the relevance of childhood sun exposure in the aetiology of pigmented moles (the major phenotypic risk-factor for melanoma), and culminated in manuscripts that were pulished in The Lancet and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Over the past 17 years, I have directed several RCTs and community-based skin cancer prevention interventions. I have attracted over $5 million in research funding and have 100 peer-reviewed publications depite having worked mainly part-time for family reasons since 2002. I am a member of several influential committees including the Queensland Skin Cancer Prevention Alliance, Queensland Health; School uniform advisory panel, Procurement Branch, Education Queensland; and the Australian Standards Technical Committee TX-021, responsible for revising the Australian and New Zealand Standard for the Evaluation and Classification of sun-protective clothing (AS/NZ 4399:2017).

  • Epidemiology
  • Melanocytic naevi (pigmented moles)
  • Health Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation
  • Population-based studies of Vitamin D levels
  • reproducibility and accuracy of serum vitamin D assays
  • sun-protective clothing
  • Shade estimation
  • Marine envenomation
  • Box jellyfish
  • Carukia Barnesi
  • Chironex fleckeri
  • Coastal drowning
  • Surf lifesaving resuscitation success
  • marine envenomation
  • evaluation and classification schemes for personal sun-protection products
  • sunscreen
  • photoprotection
  • non-melanocytic skin cancers
  • melanoma
  • sun-protection
  • melanogenesis
  • cancer epidemiology
  • translational research
  • child health
  • midwifery
  • population health
  • longitudinal studies
  • RCT
Research Disciplines
  • 2009 - Regional (NQ) Winner of Queensland Government’s inaugural Healthy Queensland Awards (Healthy Communities)
  • 2007 - Cancer Council Queensland International travel fellowship
  • 2000 - Cancer Council Queensland Allied Health Professionals Oncology Group International travel fellowship
  • 1995 - Queensland Cancer Fund International travel fellowship
  • 2007 to 2009 - Cancer Council Queensland John McCaffrey Cancer Prevention & Control Research NQ Fellowship
  • 1999 - Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine
  • 2014 - Australian Health Promotion Association
  • 2012 - Centre for Research Excellence in Sun and Health Research Affiliate
  • 2007 - International Union for Health Promotion and Education
  • 2015 - Associate Professor (Adjunct), University of Southern Queensland, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science.
  • 2014 - Associate Editor, Frontiers in Public Health (Radiation & Health Section)
  • 2012 to 2015 - Associate Professor QUT (Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation - Sun and Health Lab)
  • 1994 to 2002 - Consultant Epidemiologist/ Biostatistician for Surf Lifesaving Australia

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 82+ research outputs authored by Dr Simone Harrison from 2000 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Violets and Lace, Townsville - Award - Grant

Implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive pilot program to improve sun-protection practices of Townsville Primary Schools.

Indicative Funding
$15,000 over 3 years
Queensland has extremely high levels of ambient ultraviolet radiation and the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Children raised here also develop pigmented moles earlier in life and in higher numbers than children raised in temperate climates, putting them at higher lifetime risk of developing melanoma. Consistent use of sun-protection (i.e. shade/hats/clothing/sunscreen) in the first decade of life can substantially reduce lifetime skin cancer risk. This funding will provide project support for skin cancer prevention research being undertaken by doctoral student, Nicole Bates and her supervisor, Dr Simone Harrison. This research involves implementing a comprehensive sun-protection intervention program in Townsville primary schools (targeting hat-wearing; policy implementation; shade availability; uniform design; role modelling by adults; sunscreen and swim-shirt use) and evaluating its efficacy over the next 3 years.
Simone Harrison and Nicole Bates (College of Public Health and Medical & Vet Sciences)
Public Health; Sun exposure; Skin Cancer; Child behaviour; Shade

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Evaluation of an Intervention to Increase the Body Surface Coverage of Summer School Uniforms in Queensland (PhD , Primary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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