University of Queensland
Research Field: Genetics, Cancer
Cancer is caused when new genetic changes occur in a group of cells. Genomic testing of cancers provides valuable information about diagnosis, prognosis and treatments. However, this testing is new and complex, and both cancer clinicians and patients have low confidence in their ability to understand genomic tests, which negatively affects the likelihood of ordering testing.
To address this problem, genetic counsellor and researcher, Aideen McInerney-Leo is developing and evaluating training programs for upskilling cancer specialists so they can offer, interpret and explain genetic tests. Ultimately, this research should improve the likelihood of cancer genomic testing being ordered and the results informing treatment, thereby ensuring personalised care .
Aideen regularly presents to members of the public and both primary and high school students to empower them around subject of genomics. She was part of an International Women’s day panel in 2020 called “The XX effect – Letter to my 16 Year old self”. Her World Science Festival presentation on “Who owns your DNA” was featured on ABC Radio National and turned into a podcast. In 2018, she presented at Health Consumers’ Queensland “Personalised Medicine and You” session.
Dr Aideen McInerney-Leo was awarded her PhD from the University of Queensland in 2017 and is currently group leader for Integrating Genomics into Medicine at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.