GWNZ Fellowship 2022-2023

Hannah van der Woude

I am a second year PhD student in the Translational Gynaecology Group in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Otago, Wellington (UOW). I am supervised by Dr Claire Henry, Dr Kathryn Hally and A/Prof Margaret Currie; three Otago women scientists. I am passionate about women’s health and as such my research focuses on endometrial (uterine) cancer, which is rising in Aotearoa New Zealand. I aim to develop a new lab-based model of endometrial cancer that can be used to test current therapeutics, identify biomarkers of treatment resistance, and investigate the role of immune cells within the tumour. This model is the first of its kind for endometrial cancer, and through developing these new methods I have brought together hospital pathologists, and clinical and immunology experts to realise the success and translational outcomes of the project. 

At this early career stage, I have published a review article in the journal Frontiers in Oncology, and have another manuscript drafted for publication; I also won the 2021 UOW 3-minute thesis competition and co-founded the UOW Postgraduate Student Association which aims to increase student whanaungatanga within the University. I have presented my work at Queenstown Research Week and and aim to further present my research at the New Zealand Society for Oncology (Christchurch, NZ), Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology (Melbourne, AUS), and the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (Montreal, Canada) meetings in 2022/2023.