Learning from the best in the world

Learning from the best in the world

5 October 2016

A generous donation has enabled a medical oncologist from Portugal to learn from the best in the world at MIA.

Dr Inês Silva is our new Medical Oncology Fellow who recently arrived from Lisbon, Portugal, and will work under the guidance of Professor Georgina Long. Inês completed her training in general oncology in Lisbon and undertook a PhD at New York University where she spent three years working on immunotherapies for melanoma patients.

“I arrived in New York in 2010, when immunotherapies were just starting to take off in melanoma treatment,” says Inês. “It was an exciting time to see the difference it was making to patients.” 

Inês returned to Portugal but decided she wanted more experience in treating melanoma and applied for our Fellowship program. 

“Unlike Australia, we don’t have a lot of melanoma in Portugal and no-one really specialises in it. I wanted to understand more about this disease and gain experience in clinical trials, translational research and tumour banking. I also was very keen to work with Professor Long,” says Inês.

In addition to treating patients at MIA, Inês will undertake research to find out why some patients develop resistance to anti-PD-1 immunotherapies.

“I’m interested in predictive markers of response and prognosis. I aim to stratify patients to ensure that each patient receives the best possible treatment. We also need to work out which is the optimal sequencing of therapies for patients,” she says. “This research will benefit melanoma patients around the world.”

After completing her Fellowship at MIA, Inês plans to take her knowledge back to her home country and implement a similar set-up in Portugal to ensure that melanoma patients there have access to the best possible treatment. 

Funding for the Medical Oncology Fellowship was provided by James Economides and the team at Red Property who generously donated their commission from the recent sale of a property owned by our patron, Mr Greg Poche AO.