My research career arose out of a desire to overcome poor outcomes in clinical practice. As a clinician, I wanted to understand and uncover issues, then develop better treatments that can have direct and clear benefits for patients.
Research is about constantly identifying new questions to answer. A combination of curiosity, academic activity and caring for people in a real and meaningful way really drives me forward with my research. I am continually motivated by the fact that my day-to-day work can, and does, improve patient outcomes.
I specialise in cellular therapies, which is the use of cells as treatment as opposed to traditional drugs. I look at how cells can be utilised to combat infections in cancer, particularly in cancers of the blood.
Cancer Council NSW has funded a number of my projects, helping me to continue various linked pieces of research. These projects have formed a significant part of the overall strategy that my team and I use in the development of cellular therapies. Importantly, these individual projects have also addressed the need for variation in approach to target specific types of cancer and infections.
I hope my research will contribute to improving treatment of blood cancers, especially making them simpler, more effective and more tolerable for patients. Seeing the rate of complications reduced and improvements in outcomes in stem cell transplantation would be reflective of significant progress.