New Clinical Research Fellow Appointed

Collaborative efforts fund a vital research fellowship

The Children’s Cancer Foundation is delighted to announce that a new Clinical Research Fellow has been created to develop a paediatric cancer research program in neuro-oncology, funded by the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation (ALCCRF) and in partnership with Foundation.

Research fellowships are academic research positions for institutions for academic staff or faculty members. Research fellowships normally require the staff to hold a doctoral degree or equivalent work experience for instance in industry and research centres.

About this research fellowship

Dr Sara Khan recently* commenced her new role as Clinical Research Fellow in the Children’s Cancer Centre at Monash Children’s Hospital and the Hudson Institute of Medical Research.

Dr Khan's main research interest is in paediatric neuro-oncology. Her research project will investigate new therapeutic options for two of the most prevalent and aggressive paediatric brain tumours, Medulloblastoma and Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma. Ultimately leading to a positive impact on patient care and provide a rich environment for teaching and training. 

“Clinical research is a great passion of mine. I come from a long line of medical professionals and am the first in my family to specialise in paediatric oncology”. Dr Sara Khan

Dr Khan’s research project has three principal aims:

  • Development and validation of a gene panel and diagnostic tool for routine molecular tumour profiling to provide accurate, reliable, rapid and cost-effective analysis of patients for clinical decision-making
  • Identification and functional validation of new gene targets and evaluation of their therapeutic potential
  • Identification and validation of pharmacological epigenetic modifiers and evaluation of their therapeutic potential.     

“I hope that at the end of my Research Fellowship we will be closer to finding a cure for these two aggressive cancers which currently have poor outcomes for children,” Dr Khan said.

The Foundation sought funding for the position through the ALCCRF, further complementing funding by the Children’s Cancer Foundation into clinical research projects, which includes around $1.8 million in funding for clinical trials.  

Partners with shared childhood cancer goals

“The support provided by the Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation is invaluable and the Foundation is sincerely grateful for their dedication to paediatric oncology research” said Aileen Boyd-Squires, Chief Executive of the Children’s Cancer Foundation (2012-2019).  

The ALCCRF has committed funding of $450,000 over three years for salary funding and laboratory consumables through the Children’s Cancer Foundation.

 

* Academic Staff Update

Sara Khan is now working in Toronto at Sick Kids Hospital. She still keeps in touch with her colleagues at The Hudson and the Foundation.

Dr Sara Khan