One hundred CONCERT members converged at the Figtree Conference Centre at Sydney Olympic Park on September 6 with a single common purpose: to brainstorm novel approaches to improving outcomes for those affected by cancer.
Ms Nasreen Kaadan, Cancer Information Program Manager for the South West Sydney Local Health District, opened the event by sharing her personal and unimaginable journey with cancer, having lost 4 immediate family members to lung cancer. Nasreen captivated the audience with her resilience in the face of adversity and her unwavering determination to raise $20,000 for lung cancer research by running, walking, cycling and even baking every day for one year.
The morning session continued with Associate Professor Phoebe Philips guiding the audience ‘across the valley of death’ through her experiences as an awardee of the Eisenhower Fellowship. Members learnt of the cultural differences between academics and industry, and the challenges and opportunities that exist to help bridge the gap between benchtop (laboratory findings) to bedside.
The 5-minute thesis session, presented by CONCERT’s postgraduate students, highlighted the stellar endeavours being undertaken by CONCERT’s next generation of impassioned researchers. Audiences were engaged and enthralled by a diverse range of projects, including one that undertook to grow miniaturised livers in culture, and another that is creating Chinese-translated information booklets for cancer patients and caregivers.
The day concluded with a highly engaging panel discussion titled, ‘Can clinicians actually do research?’. Moderated by Dr Lorraine Chantrill, Director of Medical Oncology in the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, the discussion was both witty and refreshingly insightful.
The 2nd CONCERT All Members Day showcased the powerhouse of great scientific minds that comprise CONCERT and reinforced a commitment among members to collaborate to improve outcomes for those affected by cancer.
Please stay tuned for the Save the Date for the 3rd CONCERT All Members Day 2020.
For more information about CONCERT’s core facilities and Flagship programs, please visit our website at www.concert.org.au
By Nicole Caixeiro