Did you know today is International Day of Women and Girls in Science?
To mark the occasion, we spoke to Dr Jess Morgan who, with funding from Candlelighters, recently undertook research which will help children and young people with cancer to spend less time in hospital and more time at home…
‘Hello, my name is Jess Morgan and I’m a Clinical Lecturer, which means I spend half my time being a doctor at the LGI (in my final years of paediatric oncology training) and half my time being a researcher at the University of York.
In 2013-2016, I did a clinical research fellowship, funded by Candlelighters. Fellowships are grants which fund a researcher to complete research projects, and often do a degree like a PhD while they are at it. My PhD investigated how we could offer some children with febrile neutropenia (fever with a low white blood cell count) the chance to go home from hospital earlier than they used to. I also did research into how patients, parents, and professionals would feel about going home earlier.
This work, along with that of Bob Phillips (another Leeds/York clinical academic) and Gabs Haeusler (from Australia), has helped to change how febrile neutropenia is treated both here in the UK and in Australia. You can read more about it here: https://www.york.ac.uk/…/shortening-hospital-stays…/
Since my PhD, my research time has spent doing three main things:
  • Further work in febrile neutropenia, including trying to find out whether certain blood tests might help us to stop antibiotics earlier, and whether daily low dose antibiotics might help to reduce serious infections.
  • Looking at the follow-up we provide after childhood cancer treatment finishes, particularly whether scans to look for relapse (when the child’s cancer comes back) are helpful.
  • Research into how we can help other doctors to become researchers, and how we can make sure that there are equal opportunities for people from different backgrounds to do this.
My Candlelighters Fellowship was a really great way to start off my research career and has meant that I’ve been able to continue to do research that makes a difference to the children and families that we look after.’
We are so happy to be able to support the crucial work that Dr Jess and others are doing, which seeks to actively improve the lives of patients and families not just in Yorkshire, but across the globe.
We’ll keep you up to date with more research news in the future too!

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