Dr Jon Krell is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Medical Oncology at Imperial College London and has a particular interest in cancer genetics. He is a prominent member of the translational research team within the Ovarian Cancer Action Research Centre, which aims to overcome resistance to current anti-cancer agents in ovarian cancer.
Describe a typical day at work. How do you divide your time between patients/the lab?
With difficulty. 50% of my time is clinical and 50% is in research but generally, the two are intertwined. The research involves clinical trials, translational research from trials and pure laboratory research as well. I tend to spend most days doing all these roles.
How did you get this job? What were you doing before?
I was always passionate about academic clinical work, following on from a four-year research fellowship as a trainee. On completion of training I took an NHS consultant job whilst waiting for an academic position to come up. When it did I applied and thankfully was successful.
What made you want to research ovarian cancer?
My earlier research was mainly in breast cancer, where I developed a specialist interest in BRCA and hereditary causes of cancer. This led me towards further interest in ovarian cancer as well. I have since developed a greater interest in ovarian cancer than any others, especially given the fact we are a long way behind breast cancer in terms of targeted and biological therapies.
What is your most memorable work moment?
The work is still in progress but our design of a combined risk algorithm within the ongoing PROGRESS trial to help guide screening and prevention of breast and ovarian cancer should have a great impact on improving public health.
What keeps you motivated on a hard day?
All of our amazing patients give me the motivation I need to keep working to improve what we are able to do to help them. The job is very hard but when we manage to improve a patients quality of life that’s probably the most fulfilling part of it.
What do you dream of achieving?
Improving the way we screen for and prevent ovarian cancer so that more women survive this disease.
What’s your vision for the future of ovarian cancer treatment?
By understanding the biology of ovarian cancer better with time we will have many more personalised approaches to treating it better.