Matthew Hong and overeas expatriate Ben Thomas, breaking edge researchers in urology

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The Picchi Award for Excellence - 2013

Recipients: Matthew Hong
Value: $10,000

Matthew went to Cambridge in order to re-establish collaborations between their academic urology group and our research group in Melbourne. Hosted by Melbourne-trained urologist Ben Thomas, he met with six other academically oriented urology trainees, one research nurse associated with collection of tumour samples for their biorepository, and urologists including the clinical and academic leads for the urology program in the hospital as well as touring the facilities at the Cambridge Research Institute and associated facilities at the Sanger Institute.

This group had established a prostate cancer metastasis biopsy program with our involvement three years ago and had subsequently collected samples from almost a dozen patients. On the back of their recent work in prostate cancer metastases (soon to be published), addition of these samples to Matthew’s data will prove valuable.

“It was useful for me to meet peers who were similarly placed with both urology training being mixed with academic work ... I gained some useful information about the urological oncology fellowship program at the Addenbrookes Hospital and have made some inroads into setting up a robust collaboration that should still be fruitful in several years when if I decide to apply for a year of fellowship in Cambridge.

Overall it was incredible to see the workings of a world class cancer research centre with enormous resources and talented individuals at the helm. I’ve attached some photos of interest including a photo of myself with Ben Thomas in the Eagle pub where Watson and Crick used to hang out (they discovered the double helix structure of DNA).”