Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Oncology related projects.


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Personal profile



Dr Kellie Toohey is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Exercise Physiology and part of the Discipline of Sport and Exercise Science. Dr Toohey is currently a Clinical Research Fellow within the Faculty of Health (2023). Dr Toohey is the Co-Chair of the prehabilitation, activity, cancer, exercise and survivorship (PACES) research group. Dr Toohey has a track record in cancer research with expertise in exercise physiology across the continuum. Dr Toohey has successful grant funding >$750k, and her publication record includes 34 peer-reviewed journal articles, including 32 Q1 journal articles. Dr Toohey has co-authored with 63 researchers from eight countries (including Australia), who represent 15 different universities (2022). Dr Toohey currently holds a position on the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) Exercise and Cancer Executive Committee, where she contributes to the aim of the group to have exercise incorporated as a standard component of care for people with cancer, by providing strategic direction and leadership to the COSA Exercise and Cancer Group. Dr Toohey held an appointment with governing body Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) (2018-2021), where she actively contributed to the strategic development of recognised research within the exercise science and exercise physiology fields nationally.  Dr Toohey is currently an elected board member for Dragons Abreast Australia and a former Associate Editor at BMC Cancer. Dr Toohey supervises HDR students with projects in oncology and is open to accepting highly motivated students for future projects, you can email her

Student Projects Available

Dr Toohey assists students in finding their interest areas for Honours, Masters and PhD projects and supports them to carry these out in a timely and efficient manner.

Following are some (not limited to) student projects that are currently available for students interested:

  • The feasibility of breast cancer prehabilitation 
    • This research aims to 1) assess the feasibility of a prehabilitation multi-disciplinary model of care for people diagnosed with breast cancer and their significant partner, 2) understand the short and long-term outcomes of the implementation of this program and 3) evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a breast cancer prehabilitation model of care.
  • The effects of physical exercise in the palliative care phase for people with advanced cancer

    • This important research aims to 1) assess the impact of individual and group therapeutic exercise within the palliative care phase for people with advanced cancer, and 2) understand the optimal timing for the delivery of these programs.  Secondly, this study will help to inform future work in developing specific exercise guidelines for people with advanced cancer in palliative care.

  • The effect of exercise for improving bone health in cancer survivors

    • This research will aim to 1) provide evidence of the benefits of mixed-mode therapeutic exercise during and following treatment on bone health, and 2) understand the long-term impact of specific exercise programming for bone health in cancer survivors. This study will help inform future clinical exercise guidelines for people with cancer.

  • The impact of COVID 19 on quality of life, mental health, self-management, and supportive care in people affected by cancer: A mixed methods study

    • This research aims to provide insights into the lived experiences of people with cancer diagnosed with COVID-19. The results from this study will provide information to aid the development of patient guides and models of supportive care to optimise quality of life, mental health and supported self-management. This study will also identify the barriers and facilitators experienced among cancer clinical care teams in previous, and ongoing service delivery to reduce the long-term burden of this virus.

Research interests

Research interests include:

  • Exercise oncology across the cancer care continuum 
  • Cardiovascular disease and exercise in cancer
  • Clinical exercise physiology
  • Cancer care

Areas of teaching include:

  • Clinical Conditions - Exercise physiology management for people diagnosed with chronic conditions
  • Exercise Oncology - Exercise physiology management and understanding the needs of cancer care in people diagnosed with cancer

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), AdvanceHE

Award Date: 12 Oct 2022

The Effects of Exercise on Health Outcomes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Cancer Survivors, University of Canberra

15 Jan 201420 Dec 2018

Award Date: 20 Dec 2018

Master, Master of Exercise Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology

1 Jun 20111 Jun 2013

Award Date: 1 Jun 2013

Bachelor, Bachelor of Science

1 Feb 20016 Jan 2011

Award Date: 1 Jun 2011

External positions

Board Member, Dragons Abreast Australia

1 Jan 2023 → …

Executive Exercise Committee Member, Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA)

1 May 2022 → …

Associate Editor, BMC Cancer

1 Jun 202031 Dec 2022

Research Committee Member, Exercise and Sports Science Australia

1 Jan 201931 Dec 2021


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