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26 Mar 2018

Tangible recognition for a hard slog - Dr Kathryn Field Picchi Award Winner 2017

  • VCCC Alliance
  • University of Melbourne
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology

Kathryn Field won a Picchi Award in 2017, just one week after handing in her PhD thesis, “Finishing the thesis and then winning the award gave me a great sense of achievement. Research is a hard slog; an award is tangible recognition and inspiration to get back to that slog.”

Kathryn’s research in recurrent glioblastoma produced five papers and provided a unique opportunity to participate in an Australian-designed clinical trial. CABARET was the first clinical trial of its kind in Australia. The clinical team and COGNO, a cooperative trials group located at the NHMRC clinical trials centre, quickly recruited 120 patients from across Australia, implementing the trial and gaining effective results promptly.

“CABARET aimed to investigate the outcomes of specific treatments for patients with glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumour. The drug, bevacizumab, had good results when used with other types of tumours, we wanted to find whether it could provide benefit for patients with recurrent glioblastoma,” Kathryn said.

Forming collaborations and creating networks

Completing her PhD through the University of Melbourne’s Department of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and now working at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Kathryn is a vital member of the VCCC environment. “I have been supported and sustained throughout my career, my supervisors and managers have recognised my potential, and I want to make sure I justify their confidence,” she said.

Kathryn will be using her Picchi Award funds to attend an international neuro-oncology conference. “Seeing world-leaders present, forming collaborations and creating networks has helped to propel my research,” she said.

“I have always looked for opportunities to add to my career, there is never any harm in trying and putting yourself out there. Awards are an honour to receive, validating the work you have done and motivating you for the future.”

Where to from here?

Kathryn is keen to contribute to education and expand opportunities for others in the field. “I am working with the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney to develop an online oncology course for their Master of Medicine degree, which will hopefully also benefit the VCCC’s new online Master of Cancer Sciences.”

“I am continuing to work with COGNO, helping to put together an ideas generation symposium to encourage discussion and solution strategies for future trial development.

I am maintaining my work in clinical medicine in brain and bowel cancer. It is affirming to see patients and have a continual reminder of why we do the research we do.”

Learn more

Learn more about the Picchi Awards for Excellence in Cancer Research and previous recipients in our short video about the importance of the awards.

The 2018 Picchi Awards for Excellence in Cancer Research - open now, until Friday 4 May 2018 (extended to COB Friday 25 May).

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