The possibility of what we can discover from the very fundamental research we do on chronic diseases is what makes my work really interesting.
As a child, some of my close family suffered from cancer, so when I started university I became fascinated with the study of tumour immunology. I found it intriguing that people were looking to the immune system to fight off cancer as a new form of treatment.
Now that I’m working at Centenary I’ve been able to do just that. I’m essentially investigating the best strategy for the immune system to stop tumour growth. I look at two cell types, CD4 T cells and B cells, and how these two cells work together to kill tumours once regulatory T cells (T regs) are switched off. T regs are the network managers of our immune system.
One of the things I find amazing is comparing cancer treatments available 15 years ago with new treatments administered today. It’s incredibly inspiring to see the advancements in medical research over this time.
Pure interest in science and a sense of discovery drives my work. I’ve had moments of being the first person ever to see something new and it’s an exhilarating feeling to see the answers start to unfold in front of you, sample by sample.
Every day is different and Centenary has experts from across a spectrum of medical science as well as some of the best equipment in the southern hemisphere. It’s a great environment that fosters collaboration and it means we can push for results faster and work together to find the answers to prevent and cure chronic diseases.