Professor Anna Nowak tells us what being a mum means to her
Having a busy working life and kids has meant that my time is either work or family, there’s not much ‘me’ time. Even though the weeks and weekday evenings are busy with work, I ‘down tools’ on the weekend and spend time doing what all mums do. So I get pretty grumpy if I have any fixed work commitments on the weekend as I consider it to be family time, now spending time with my older parents too.
My kids are 17 and 21 now, so although they are extremely independent, I’m still called on for ‘adulting’ lessons on a regular basis, and to pay for petrol and read essays. As my kids have got older, it has been a wonderful thing to see them achieving excellence where I have no ability at all. My son is a triathlete and a wonderful clarinet player. My daughter is a talented artist and can speak and write mandarin Chinese. I can’t do any of those things, and it’s such a thrill to see them doing things I could never hope to do!
As a role model for my kids, I hope to show them what self-mastery, service, compassion, and integrity look like. Nobody in our family is perfect, but I’m glad they’ve both inherited my work ethic.
Anna also has a beautiful role model – to some Emeritus Professor Margaret Nowak, but to Anna, ‘Mum’.
NCARD Research Fellowship
In 2016, we had the opportunity to contribute $50,000 to fund a research fellow at the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD), Dr Linda Ye. Dr Le has since completed her Research Fellowship in lung cancer research and is inspired to continue onto a PhD.
Acknowledgement by Professor Anna Nowak, Director NCARD
On behalf of the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases (NCARD), I wish to thank you for Reflections Through Reality’s generous research support. As you will read in this report, NCARD celebrated many achievements of staff and students in 2018.
A key aspect of NCARD’s collaborative research future is recognising and developing exceptional, passionate and determined research students. Your support has seen Dr Linda Ye complete her Research Fellowship with us at NCARD in lung cancer research and inspired her to continue onto a PhD. Dr Ye represents the next generation of researchers who will build on our work and develop the breakthroughs of the future.
Thank you once again for your ongoing support and investment in our vision.
Clinical trial preparations
During her lung cancer fellowship, under the primary supervision of Professor Bruce Robinson, Linda worked with the NCARD team to develop, write, and achieve ethics approval of a clinical trial protocol looking to explore the novel therapeutic strategy of neoantigen vaccination, initially in patients with lung cancer, with expansion into mesothelioma planned in the future. This treatment is expected to help one’s own immune system fight the cancer by generating an immune response against an individual’s unique cancer mutations. Ongoing planning and development are underway and the trial will be ready to start recruiting in the near future.
Lung cancer research projects
Additionally, Linda conducted regular lung cancer clinics and undertook two research projects based on molecular testing of lung cancer. These two projects helped to assess the pattern of expression of immunological and molecular markers in the Western Australian lung cancer population, and demonstrated the efficacy and feasibility of a new molecular test to detect a specific mutation seen in lung cancer. These projects were both presented at the Australasian Lung Cancer Conference in 2018, one has been accepted for publication and the other has just been submitted for publication.
Linda enjoyed her time as the NCARD research fellow immensely and the opportunity provided her with invaluable research and clinical experience, made possible by Reflections Through Reality. She hopes to continue lung and mesothelioma related research in the future and is currently planning to pursue a PhD through the neoantigen vaccine project.
Download the full report here