Why did you apply to Bradford?
Bradford was the only place I wanted to go. The combination of the five year sandwich course and the high pass rate in the registration exams put Bradford above the others for me.
What was your first impression of the University and the city?
Bradford was a familiar city coming from just “down the road” in Huddersfield. They are very similar in many ways and this helped my to feel at home from the very beginning.
What did you enjoy the most about your time in Bradford?
My year had almost 150 students but in very little time at all we all knew almost everyone else. This feeling of belonging was extremely important during my time at Bradford.
Who are you currently working for and what is your job title?
I am the Deputy Director of Pharmacy at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Peter Mac is the only combined clinical and research institute in Australia devoted solely to the treatment, prevention and cure of cancer and treats more cancer patients than any other hospital.
How has your career developed since leaving the University of Bradford?
After qualifying, I worked at a number of NHS hospitals in the UK and that was where my interest in oncology pharmacy started. I then became Pharmacy Manager at The Yorkshire Clinic in Bingley where I stayed until 2006 when I became Deputy Director of Pharmacy at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. I oversee daily operations in a department of 50 people. I also run programs of both practice and lab-based research. I am recognised as one of the leading oncology pharmacists in Australia. I am Deputy Chair of the national Cancer Pharmacists Group. I have published work in national and international peer-reviewed journals and I am regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences. I am a member of multiple global advisory boards for the pharmaceutical industry, advising them on their product pipeline of oncology compounds. I have been successful in obtaining a number a research grants and I have also been appointed to the editorial board of three international journals.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
I love being able to maintain my position within the pharmacy whilst being able to pursue my research interests. Peter Mac is an amazing place to work, my colleagues are very special people, and our patients make everything worthwhile.
What are your goals for the future?
I am almost three years into a part-time PhD at Monash University. My thesis is looking into the pharmacogenomic aspects of response to cancer medicines. This involves developing genomic tests that can be used to predict how individual patients will respond to particular chemotherapy drugs – so called predictive biomarkers – which can lead to personalised treatment. I aim to complete my PhD studies in 18 months time.
What advice would you give to current students wishing to get into your career?
Keep going, even when you are not sure where you want to end up! At university I had no idea I would end up in oncology pharmacy, especially in another country. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.