At the start of June, with the support of the Ewing's Sarcoma Research Trust, we welcomed Dr Liz Roundhill to #TeamBones HQ for a 2 months secondment. During that time Liz has helped make a real impact to our work. We interviewed Liz about her time with us.
Tell us about you, who you are and what do you do?
I’m a post-doctoral researcher from the Children’s Cancer Research Group at the University of Leeds. I have worked in the field of primary bone cancer research, particularly Ewing sarcoma, since 2005 where my focus has been the identification, characterisation and targeting of drug resistant, metastatic Ewing sarcoma cells.
How important has it been that you were able to come and work with us?
A research project had come to an end and an opportunity became available to work with the Bone Cancer Research Trust to improve the collection of patient samples for Ewing sarcoma biological studies. Since the use of patient derived samples is a vital aspect of our research, it seemed the perfect time to join the team and work with the research team to further the progress being made with nationwide sample collection.
What have you been doing while with us?
My main role has been to visit the orthopaedic surgical centres across the UK to support Bone Cancer Research Trust-funded NHS staff with a view to increasing the number of samples collected for Ewing sarcoma studies. I have also been able to help the wider fundraising team to help increase their understanding of research and was delighted to attend and participate in awareness raising activities, such as giving talks at St Aidan's Church of England High School in support of Franks Fund - a dedicated Ewing sarcoma Special Fund of the Bone Cancer Research Trust.
Has working with us been what you expected?
Yes and no! Yes, in that it has been an absolute pleasure and it has been really humbling to see all the effort that is involved in raising money so research projects can happen. It is wonderful to have a charity prioritising primary bone cancer studies. No, because I hadn't really appreciated just how much happens in the background to deliver the charity's work and just how much passion there is for helping patients.
What did you like best about being at the Bone Cancer Research Trust?
As a researcher it has been important to meet patients and understand the challenges and adversity they face day-to-day. In a lab we don't get to see patients that often and having this opportunity has increased my passion to push forward and address these issues in future research. It has also been really pleasing to see and be part of an organisation that is so open to, and encouraging of, collaboration in the world of primary bone cancer. It's great to see how closely the Bone Cancer Research Trust works with other organisations, such as the Ewing's Sarcoma Research Trust, Children with Cancer UK, the Amputation Foundation and all the NHS surgical centres across the country.
Having seen our work from a different side, do you have a message for our supporters?
Everyone at the Bone Cancer Research Trust is highly motivated and committed to supporting research to improve the outcome for all primary bone cancer patients. It has been fantastic to be part of both my lab research team and #TeamBones as we move forward together to find a cure for all bone cancer patients. Without the fundraising by supporters, our research simply would not happen so a huge thank you to everyone involved in raising funds for this fantastic charity.
Most importantly, would you come back?
Yes, I would definitely come back to work in #TeamBones!!!... Especially if it means I have an automatic place in the Dragon Boat Race team in 2020!