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We comprise several hospitals, health centres, a nationally accredited education provider and a world-class research institute
We are a nationally accredited, hospital-based Registered Training Organisation - the only one of its kind in Queensland
We are part of a collaborative research institute with The University of Queensland and founding partner of the Translational Research Institute
Sharyn Grossman never expected to become a research nurse. In 1996, after moving to Brisbane from Ballarat, where she worked at a hospital as a ward clerk, she called Mater one morning on the off chance a job might be available. From here, she had an interview to be Dr Timothy Florin’s secretary and 27 years later, she is still at Mater.
Sharyn said she initially thought the role would be day-to-day administration support, but it soon became more.
“I was expecting that the job would just be typing up Dr Florin’s letters but during the interview, he said ‘by the way, I’ve done some studies on my own and I want to branch into clinical trials and need help with that,” Sharyn said.
“I’d never even heard of clinical trials, but I gave it a go,” she said.
Sharyn worked with Dr Florin, supporting his Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) clinical trials. From 1996 to 2016, she was the only support person on the team until Associate Professor Jake Begun (Mater IBD Clinical Lead and Mater Research IBD Research Group Leader) came on board, adding more trials and in turn, increasing the team to seven people.
“I was the first person supporting IBD trials at Mater. There was no one I could talk to about what I needed to do so I taught myself how to do this job. In the early days I did everything from completing ethics submissions to seeing patients. The first clinical research associate to join the team supported me and we have all continued to learn as we grow.”
“With no clinical experience, I felt limited in what I could do, especially not being a nurse. So, I started studying and did my nursing training at Mater alongside my job. I am now an endorsed enrolled nurse (EEN).”
Sharyn’s favourite part of being a clinical trials nurse is the patient contact and seeing them get better because of a successful trial.
“For some of our patients it’s a last resort before surgery, so seeing results is really rewarding.”
Sharyn enjoys working across Mater and interacting with multidisciplinary teams.
“Working with multidisciplinary teams enables us to share our work with clinical staff and reinforces we are all here for the same reason and end goal of treating Mater patients.”
“I’d love for people to see the success we have and how many patients we’ve helped along the way. A lot of the drugs now used in IBD standard care globally come from the kind of trials we have done at Mater.”
“Because of our IBD clinical trial successes, we’re branching into different areas of research, such as eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) and coeliac.”
Sharyn and the IBD team are currently involved in a first in world trial using a new ultrasound device that is being led here at Mater.
“We are currently working on a really exciting new trial using an ultrasound device to administer medication via an enema. We are currently trialing it with the help of healthy volunteers. Our hope is that the ultrasound technology enables ultra-rapid absorption of medication giving the patient more benefit of the drug in the fastest way possible.”
Interested in learning more about the Mater Research IBD Clinical Trials Team? Click here to view their current trials or contact them via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
07 3163 1524
07 3163 6142
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