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Australian first in Cancer Sciences

Australian first in Cancer Sciences

Australia's first Masters program in Cancer Sciences attracts multidisciplinary cohort

The first intake of students undertaking the new online Master of Cancer Sciences program from the University of Melbourne are getting to know each other this week through online forums and video introductions. Week 1 introduces their first subject, Foundations of Cancer, crafted by over 30 subject matter experts and led by two of the VCCC’s leading scientists, Subject Development Coordinator, Dr Joep Vissers and Online Tutor, Dr Holly Barker.

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Dr Joep Vissers filming with course convenor Prof Grant McArthur

Sonya Imbesi is a physiotherapist who works full time at a private hospital in Melbourne's south.

One of my best friends sent me an email titled "this screams you", with a link to the degree. I have spent the last six years of my career working in both oncology and palliative care settings as it simply makes my heart glow. In my postgrad physiotherapy degree we had little exposure to cancer so everything I know to date has been through on-the-job experience and short courses. I felt it was about time to formalise and expand my knowledge in the area that I so dearly love.

Sydney-based reseacher Natasha Lam from the Garvan Institute also heard about the course from a friend.

I hope to gain a wider understanding of the cancer sciences, not only from a laboratory aspect but also from the perspective of patients and the community. I'm also keen to learn alongside other professionals undertaking the course and make connections within the industry.

Lynn Chong, research coordinator for the hepatobiliary and upper gastrointestinal surgical unit at St Vincent’s Hospital is also seeking to expand her knowledge. 

My background is in laboratory cancer research and I wanted to gain a better understanding of clinical cancer research.  The program suits me as it is online and I work full time and it will enable me to produce better quality research for our unit.

Christelle Catuogno is a registered nurse in oncology clinical trials. 

This course is essential to the consolidation of my oncology knowledge and the key to pursue my career in translational research. My dual background (PhD biochemistry and RN), provides me the opportunity to translate research findings into medical practice and meaningful health outcomes. Also, postgraduate studies are highly recommended for registered nurses applying for clinical nurse positions.

CC Crop

Dr Christelle Catuogno

Dr Alia Kaderbhai

Dr Alia Kaderbhai

GP Alia Kaderbhai, works at a family clinic in Richmond.

I see at least one patient every week that has an experience with cancer, and there is an increasing demand for GPs to know everything about everything. Intensive training is required, not just for GPs but nurses and all members of the medical team, says Dr Kaderbhai as reported in The Age recently.

Students enrolled in the inaugural Cancer Sciences program come from almost all Australian states and territories and hold undergraduate degrees from universities in Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe.

Online courses are held across four terms which means students can enrol in January, April, July and October. More information is available through the University of Melbourne.