What outcomes have resulted from your DPhil?
With my supervisor Prof. Dame Valerie Beral, I published several epidemiological analyses of data from the Million Women Study cohort, showing that the association between certain risk factors and ovarian cancer varies between the different tumour histological subtypes – and in a manner that is consistent with new hypotheses about how these subtypes might develop. Through collaboration with my co-supervisor, Prof. Ahmed A. Ahmed, I also gained experience in use of tumour tissue samples and digital pathology image analysis.
How has your time here influenced your subsequent career?
The training and experience I gained during my Clinical Research Training Fellowship has provided a strong foundation for my early career as a clinical academic, and enabled my current work on integrating tissue samples and digital pathology into epidemiological studies. I also benefited from the wider support, networking opportunities, and career development initiatives of the CRUK Oxford Centre, which have helped with establishing collaborations in my post-doctoral research.
What advice would you give to current students?
Enjoy the DPhil! Particularly for busy clinicians, it is such a privilege to be given the opportunity to spend three years investigating an interesting and important research question, with colleagues and supervisors who are world-leading scientists, and in a supportive research environment. This is true even on the inevitable days when your experiments don’t work…
Key publications arising from Kezia’s DPhil:
- Gaitskell K, Green J, Pirie K, Barnes I, Hermon C, Reeves GK, Beral V; Million Women Study Collaborators. Histological subtypes of ovarian cancer associated with parity and breastfeeding in the prospective Million Women Study. Int J Cancer. 2018 Jan 15;142(2):281-289.
- Gaitskell K, Coffey K, Green J, Pirie K, Reeves GK, Ahmed AA, Barnes I, and Beral V; on behalf of the Million Women Study Collaborators. Tubal ligation and incidence of 26 site-specific cancers in the Million Women Study. Br J Cancer. 2016 Apr 26;114(9):1033-7.
- Gaitskell K, Green J, Pirie K, Reeves G; Valerie Beral; on behalf of the Million Women Study Collaborators. Tubal ligation and ovarian cancer risk in a large cohort: Substantial variation by histological type. Int J Cancer. 2016 Mar 1;138(5):1076-84.