Stephanie Guilas has worked in many departments throughout Mater Hospital Brisbane, however, after 28 years of service, she found her true passion working within Mater Research’s Mothers and Babies Research Team as the Lead Clinical Research Coordinator.
Stephanie fell into clinical research in 2008, when she was working clinically as a nurse at the Mater Cancer Care Centre (MCCC) apheresis unit that specialises in autologous stem cell transplant and treats other blood disorders.
“I was on a one-year secondment to Mater Research as a Clinical Research Nurse to collect white blood cells (dendritic cells) for a clinical trial in prostate cancer. It was meant to be just one year and here I am 15 years later!”
Prior to moving into her current position, Stephanie worked in various roles in different therapeutic areas within Mater Research as a study coordinator, as well as in Mater Research Compliance.
“I am passionate about helping others and finding new treatments to help improve patient outcomes. Clinical trials can make a difference to patient lives and improve quality of life, and I love being able to contribute to that.”
“It’s so rewarding knowing that what we do here in clinical trials improves outcomes for our patients, while also helping to create better treatments for others around the world.”
Stephanie is now working on new clinical trials in her role as Lead Clinical Research Coordinator for Mother and Baby trials. The latest trial she is involved with is looking at a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine for preterm babies.
“Currently, these tiny babies will need five RSV vaccines during their first few months throughout the RSV season. We hope with this study, these babies will only need one RSV vaccine in the future. This doesn’t only improve the patient outcome for the babies themselves, but for a mum who is already dealing with a lot, it will mean less appointments for them.”
“There is a never a dull day working in clinical research, it is challenging, rewarding and a very fulfilling career!”
“My favourite part is seeing my patients and conducting patient visits.”
Assessments will soon begin at hospitals across Australia against the new National Clinical Trials Governance Framework. This framework embeds and highlights the role clinical trials play in health service provision across Australia, and that they run alongside the standard and are an exciting and viable option for anybody attending Mater.
“The framework will give patients access to high quality clinical trials across Mater. One of the important principles of the framework is patient-centeredness, ensuring the patient voice is heard and that their journey is a positive one.”
“Nearly everything in healthcare was once an idea, but ideas don’t take away your headaches like paracetamol does. That’s why clinical trials are so important, they take the idea and make sure it does its job in a safe and scientific way. We can’t advance in healthcare without safe, high-quality clinical trials”.
Even after 28 years at Mater, Stephanie still loves what she does each and every day.
“I love being part of a team who chase miracles in science to improve their patients’ lives.”
“What we do at Mater Research matters - it is gratifying that even a small contribution can make a difference into someone’s life!”
Interested in learning more about the Mater Research Mothers and Babies Research Team? Click here to view their current trials or contact them via email on MBResearch@mater.org.au