Can you help this researcher understand the patient point of view?

Liver Foundation

Dr Sophie Curio is a researcher at UQ doing lab-based research. She is looking for consumers who can help her to support her research by sharing their experiences and helping her understand the patient point of view.

Dr Sophie Curio is a researcher at the University of Queensland who is doing research in the lab on ways to fight liver disease.

She is looking for people with liver disease who can help her in her research by sharing their experiences and helping her understand the patient point of view.

Sophie's research focuses on understanding how special cells called lymphoid cells and natural killer cells develop in the liver and how they contribute to the development of cancers, including HCC, cancers that spread to the liver and fatty liver disease.

You will be reimbursed for your time. Please read on to find out more about this opportunity and contact Sophie directly if you are interested. You can email her via s.curio@uq.edu.au

Q: Who are you looking for?
A: Patients or family members with lived experience of hepatocellular carcinoma, liver metastases or metabolic syndrome, or patients with high risk of developing liver cancer, who are interested in learning about fundamental research and guiding research paths.

Q: What is the purpose?
A: I would like to build a relationship with someone with a lived experience of liver disease to guide my research. I am interested to hear what patients knew about the disease and risks before they were diagnosed and how they perceived the diagnosis and the treatment. All this will help me refine my research questions to benefit patients.

Q: What is the time commitment?
A: Initially, we would have one or two meetings to get to know each other and hear each other’s stories and journeys. This can be face-to-face or virtual, depending on the location. If we agree to work together, we will meet on a regular basis and I will occasionally ask you to read and provide feedback on research grant application. This typically takes 2-3 hours and occurs approximately twice a year. Patients will be reimbursed for their time.

Q: When are you looking to recruit?
A: Ideally, I’d like to recruit someone by the end of the year.

Q: What is your research about?
A: In my research, I aim to understand how immune cells in the liver contribute to liver diseases. The immune system is very good at patrolling the body and recognising anything that is foreign or cancerous. However, some factors such as family history and/or lifestyle choices can reduce the function of these immune cells and increase the risk of cancer development.

My project looks at a very specific immune cells in the liver called natural killer cells, that are very good at recognising and destroying tumour cells that they encounter. I’m interested in how they develop, why they are mainly found in the liver, how food or alcohol intake contribute to their dysfunction and, most importantly, how we can turn the broken natural killer cells back into functional “killers” that destroy tumour cells. If we can understand how this works, we might be able to develop new therapies with better success rates and fewer side effects.