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Dr Ashley Vardon

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What is your current role?

What are your research interests?

Paediatric ST4, Worcester 

Glioma biology

Tumour immunology and immunotherapy

CAR-T cells

How did you get started in your research career?

My early experience during my iBSc in 2013 was through a collaboration with Bio-Cancer-Technology, the pre-clinical data I generated has led to an early phase clinical trial, “PARC” (NCT03455140), an international phase1/2 paediatric pan-cancer trial investigating BCT-100. 

Following on from this, I integrated my interest in paediatric oncology drug discovery with an academic clinical post which allowed me to explore novel use of LAT-1 inhibition in paediatric cancers, collaborations with J Pharma, subsequently been developed further, has recently been accepted for publication. I also worked on the role of neutrophils in the neuroblastoma tumour microenvironment, and their role in suppressing adaptive immunity, and cellular therapies (e.g. CAR T cells). To undertake this research I was awarded an independent CRUK pre-doctoral research bursary.

Do you have any tips for trainess interested in research/an academic career?

A clinical academic career isn’t just a job, it’s a path to professional freedom, impactful contributions, and the satisfaction of making a lasting difference in healthcare. 

What are your career aspirations?

Paediatric neuro-oncologist and clinician scientist 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of academic training?

Research enhances clinical skills, by fostering a deeper understanding of diseases, treatments and patient care. You get to innovate, network globally, contribute to wider knowledge, flexible working hours, time away from clinical medicine. 

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