Dr Pietro Procopio

Research Fellow

E: pietro.procopio@nswcc.org.au


After a career as an astrophysicist, in 2016 Dr. Pietro Procopio has joined the breast cancer research group led by Dr. Carolyn Nickson. He is currently involved in a variety of projects including: the development of a clinical model for breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment across Australia; the application of machine learning techniques in the context of personalised risk model for breast cancer; the development and the validation of automated software (AutoDensity) as well as the exploration of alternative techniques for mammographic density measurements.

Pietro has expertise in multiple programming languages, software development, computer simulations, physical modelling, statistical analysis, big data processing, and image processing. He enjoys exploring new fields of research, expanding his knowledge, and he is always keen to share his ideas with colleagues and with non-academics through outreach events.


  • PhD (Astro-particle Physics), Ferrara University and Paris7- Paris Diderot University, 2009
  • B.Sc. (Astronomy), Bologna University, 2005


  • K.Canfell (CIA),…,P.Procopio (CII), MRFF Research Grant, 2020, Modelling five-year patterns in cancer incidence, staging and related health services, $3,585,390.00
  • N.Houssami (CI),…, P. Procopio (AI). MRFF Investigator Grant, 2020, Comparative effectiveness of breast tomosynthesis and mammography in real- world population screening: Evidence to underpin and improve breast cancer screening, $1,851,429.69

Academic affiliations

Research Fellow, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne

Honorary Research Fellow, Discipline of Public Health, The Sydney School of Public Health, The Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney

Current student supervision


Selected key publications

Nickson, C., Procopio, P., Velentzis, L. S., Carr, S., Devereux, L., Mann, G. B., James, P., Lee, G., Wellard, C., & Campbell, I. (2018). Prospective validation of the NCI Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (Gail Model) on 40,000 Australian women. Breast cancer research : BCR20(1), 155. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13058-018-1084-x

Lew, J. B., Feletto, E., Wade, S., Caruana, M., Kang, Y. J., Nickson, C., Simms, K. T., Procopio, P., Taylor, N., Worthington, J., Smith, D., & Canfell, K. (2019). Benefits, harms and cost-effectiveness of cancer screening in Australia: an overview of modelling estimates. Public health research & practice29(2), 29121913. https://doi.org/10.17061/phrp2921913

Saxby, K., Nickson, C., Mann, G. B., Velentzis, L., Bromley, H. L., Procopio, P., Canfell, K., & Petrie, D. (2020). The financial impact of a breast cancer detected within and outside of screening: lessons from the Australian Lifepool cohort. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health44(3), 219–226. https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.12976

Dench, E., Bond-Smith, D., Darcey, E., Lee, G., Aung, Y. K., Chan, A., Cuzick, J., Ding, Z. Y., Evans, C. F., Harvey, J., Highnam, R., Hsieh, M. K., Kontos, D., Li, S., Mariapun, S., Nickson, C., Nguyen, T. L., Pertuz, S., Procopio, P., Rajaram, N., … Stone, J. (2019). Measurement challenge: protocol for international case-control comparison of mammographic measures that predict breast cancer risk. BMJ open9(12), e031041. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031041

Cheasley, D., Li, N., Rowley, S. M., Elder, K., Mann, G. B., Loi, S., Savas, P., Goode, D. L., Kader, T., Zethoven, M., Semple, T., Fox, S. B., Pang, J. M., Byrne, D., Devereux, L., Nickson, C., Procopio, P., Lee, G., Hughes, S., Saunders, H., … Campbell, I. G. (2019). Molecular comparison of interval and screen-detected breast cancers. The Journal of pathology248(2), 243–252. https://doi.org/10.1002/path.5251