We love introducing our supporters to the local researchers behind all the exciting and important projects.
After presenting at our annual Celebration of Research Excellence event in August, it was fantastic to hear more about Jessica’s research journey and her mission for better health for all Tasmanians.
Jess has been fortunate to have already experienced an interesting and varied career that includes time spent in a regulatory agency and also inspiring the next generation of researchers through academia. After spending several years as a research project manager, including coordinating a major community-based research trial in Sydney, Jess decided it was time to pursue her own PhD, a significant undertaking indeed! She completed this in 2017 and then took the opportunity to take up a fellowship in the oncology office of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, before making her way to Tasmania.
“That was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to work with data from various oncology trials and gain an understanding of the drug development and approval process. My time at FDA helped inspire the research project I am now pursuing thanks to the generous support of the Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation,” she said.
Although clinical trials are an essential component of medical research and drug development, most patients with cancer often do not enrol to take part in trials. As a consequence, the challenges of translating findings from trial data into the real world are well-known.
With a multidisciplinary team from the Royal Hobart Hospital, the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, Jessica and her colleagues are investigating the real-world outcomes and side effects of new immunotherapy agents for Tasmanians with lung cancer. This new 2021 Incubator Grant is generously funded by a local Tasmanian benefactor and will provide important local evidence about these drugs which can then be used to build a resource which can better inform future studies in this area, based on real life outcomes.
With many Tasmanians knowing someone who has been impacted by cancer, or being affected directly themselves, this is a vital study, and we know you’ll want to be kept up to date as Jessica and her team progress.
You can help support researchers like Jessica to keep improving the lives of Tasmanians by making an online donation today. Thank you for continuing to improve the lives of the Tasmanian community.