Current position: Research Therapist
Years qualified as an RT: 2006 – current
Research areas of interest: Image Guidance, Adaptive Therapy, Stereotactic Ablative Body Radiotherapy
Research qualifications: M Phil (Monash 2013 – current)
What is your greatest research achievement?
Radiation Therapist representative for the recently completed TROG 10.01 Multicentre feasibility study of Bladder Online Adaptive Radiotherapy.
Why and how did you get involved in research?
Interest in new developments in radiation oncology. I was asked by a colleague if I had any interest in assisting with data collection, and it snowballed from there.
How do your balance research/work/family life?
I work hard over summer (generally when abstracts are due) and kick back with overseas holidays in winter (where it’s actually summer in the northern hemisphere!). Nothing is more satisfying than working hard and having a well-deserved break.
How did you find a mentor/supervisor?
I was lucky to be involved with projects that had co-investigators with great research experience. If you show enough initiative, people will recognise it and assist you in developing your skills.
What was your supervisor/mentor’s best advice?
Pursue postgraduate qualifications – these are a universal currency for research skills.
What do you enjoy most about being involved in research?
Collaborations and meeting peers from all over the world. It is great to see that no matter where you work, Australia, Singapore, Canada, United States, we all share the same problems and rewards in Oncology. It is an amazing field to be in. For me I don’t see it as a 9 to 5 job but rather a lifelong hobby. Hard to see this at first but with the right research team, you will see how your research fits into the greater picture.
What has been your biggest challenge or barrier to being involved in research?
Knowing what the expectations are when you first start out. Research requires a lot of patience as visible outcomes are very much long term. As an RT our work is very much accomplished with short term goals, however in research the final outcome (publications) will take at least 6 months to a year to complete.
What one piece of advice would you give other researchers?
The more you learn, the less you know. That is a result of good research.