Meet ANZGOG Member, Dr Nikki Burdett. Nikki is an Investigator on EmQuest, a survey study that aims to identify factors which predict for health-related quality of life deficits and increased symptom burden in women who have been treated for endometrial cancer.

A short introduction on yourself…

I’m originally from South Australia and studied at the University of Adelaide. I completed most of my training in Adelaide, with the exception of 18 months in Sydney. I moved to Melbourne in 2019 for a fellowship in early drug development and ultimately for the research opportunities it enabled. I am currently undertaking my PhD at Peter MacCallum Cancer centre in the Bowtell laboratory.

How did you get into oncology and why?

I actually had little contact with oncology as a specialty during Medical school, but was by chance allocated a Medical Oncology rotation as an intern. I immediately felt an affinity for the scientific mechanisms behind the treatments used, and perhaps more strongly, an empathy with patients’ unique personal experience of their diagnosis. I saw senior colleagues guide their patients through treatment decisions with compassion and skill and felt inspired to follow this.

When was your first involvement with ANZGOG?

A supervisor encouraged me to apply for the ANZGOG ovarian cancer preceptorship in 2017. I was so glad I did. This was a wonderful experience, to both learn from senior clinicians in the gynae-oncology field and to connect with peers and members of the gynae-oncology community.

Where are you currently working?

My time is currently split, predominantly working in translational research as part of my PhD at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and also part-time clinical work at the Mercy Hospital for Women.

What is it like being an Investigator on this study?

Being involved in EmQuest has been a positive experience in many ways. From working with investigators with expertise in quality of life studies on design, to finally having it active and recruiting has been an informative journey, and we hope that we can engage enough women as participants to provide a clear and accurate picture of their experiences of treatment for endometrial cancer.

Can you talk about the Senior Investigator mentoring that you have received?

Working with Prof Linda Mileshkin (Principal Investigator, EmQuest) on the EmQuest study has been a great experience. There are many nuances, even in what might seem like a simple, observational study which are not always obvious, and being able to draw on her extensive experience in the area has been invaluable.

To take part in the survey, follow this link. Please share with your professional networks.