Professor Phyllis Butow

Phyllis is Chair of the Sydney Catalyst Governing Council, and member of the T2/T3 Working Group and Sydney Catalyst Scientific Advisory Committee. She was one of the inaugural chief investigator recipients of Sydney Catalyst  pilot and seed funding  for her project titled: 'Translating evidence into practice; implementing clinical pathways to relieve psychological distress and improve wellbeing for cancer patients', the next stage of which has since won a $3,650,000 CINSW translational program grant.
  • Governing Council
  • Scientific Advisory Committee
  • Executive
  • T2/T3 Working Group


Phyllis has worked for over 20 years in the area of Psycho-Oncology and has developed an international reputation in this and the area of health communication. She is currently Professor and NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow in the School of Psychology, University of Sydney. She was the founding Director of the Centre for Medical Psychology and Evidence-based Decision-making (CeMPED) and the Australian Psycho-Oncology Co-operative Trials Group (PoCoG). She has taken a leading role in Australia in promoting and facilitating communication skills training for Oncology health professionals. 

Phyllis says she particularly enjoys mentoring students and post-docs, and watching them develop and grow.  

Research Interests:  

Phyllis's research focuses on doctor-patient-family communication during decision-making, when breaking bad news, and at the end of life, as well as support and information needs of patients and their families. Her work has been translated into a number of communication skills modules for cancer health professionals. Prof Butow has over 400 publications in peer reviewed journals, most of which relate to psychological issues in cancer.