Monash researcher receives 2017 Pink Hope Outreach Ambassadors Award

Monash University researcher Dr Daniella Brasacchio has received the 2017 Pink Hope Outreach Ambassadors Award in recognition of her scientific and public advocacy work, raising awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

A senior research fellow in the Blood Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory, School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health, Dr Brasacchio has been recognised by the preventative health organisation Pink Hope for helping to raise awareness of hereditary cancer, promoting the work of Pink Hope and supporting high risk families.

Pink Hope works to ensure every individual can assess, manage and reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer, while providing personalised support for at risk women.  It is estimated that there are 660,000 women at moderate to high risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Dr Brasacchio said Pink Hope not only promotes awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC), it provides a forum for affected women to connect.

“I have personally been effected by HBOC through my family history predisposing me to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer,” Dr Brasacchio said.

“I learnt this through the loss of my mother to ovarian cancer and her sister to breast cancer four and ten years ago, respectively.”

“I have positively benefited from Pink Hope by gaining information that has influenced my health both mentally and physically.”

A not-for-profit charity, Pink Hope aims to decrease the risk of those affected by HBOC of developing cancers.

Dr Brasacchio said it was important for her to use her scientific skills to help and inform others about the progress and development of research in this field.

“It was my way of giving back to a charity that has positively affected my life,” she said.

While Dr Brasacchio’s research at Monash University is not connected to HBOC—she investigates blood cancers including myeloma and lymphoma—she believes it’s extremely important for scientists to use their skills and knowledge to positively communicate research to the community.

“This award shows that it’s important for the community to connect with medical research advancements through effective scientific communication.”

Dr Brasacchio said she is honoured to be part of a wonderful charity—Pink Hope—and is grateful for the ongoing support of her Laboratory Group Leader, Associate Professor Jake Shortt who helps make it possible.