Vernon is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Auckland Medical School.
Vernon's primary interest is the management of patients with breast cancer. He is a keen supporter of clinical trials and the Principal Investigator of a large number of clinical trials in early and advanced breast cancer and drug development. He is an active member of several breast cancer co-operative trial groups, including the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZBCTG), the International Breast Cancer Study Group (IBCSG), Breast International Group (BIG), the Breast Cancer International Research Group (BCIRG) and the Early Breast Cancer Trialist's Group (EBCTG).
Vernon is Chairman and Scientific Director of the Auckland Breast Cancer Study Group. He was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to Medicine, particularly Oncology Research in the 2010 New Years Honours.
Vernon is involved in several NZ governmental committees related to cancer and is a member of the Cancer Treatment Subcommittee of PHARMAC, the government agency responsible for public funding of medicines within the NZ Health Service.