Laura Tookman

Medical Oncologist at Hammersmith Hospital Imperial College London

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About

What inspired you to get involved with research? How does it fit with your clinical role?

Throughout my career, I have been lucky to work with inspiring clinicians and scientists. I undertook a PhD in ovarian cancer and I now work as a clinician treating women with gynaecological malignancies. For me, research is intertwined with my clinical work from recruiting patients to clinical trials to reviewing clinical data. In my clinical practice I see the many challenges that women with ovarian cancer face and I am aware that the best way to improve treatments and outcome is through further research. 

What projects are you working on that are funded by Ovarian Cancer Action? 

I am excited to be working on the British Translational Research Ovarian Cancer Collaborative (BriTROC 2) project. In this translational research project we are working with centres across the UK to collect samples from women with ovarian cancer. We hope to use these samples to gain new insights into ovarian cancer and to try and explain why some cancers come back. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job? 

As a clinician, every interaction with a patient or relative is important. It is a privilege to be part of a patient’s journey and if I can make someone feel better and improve their quality of life, it can be very rewarding. 

What is the most challenging part of your job? 

I see many women and their families at such a difficult and challenging time of their lives. Telling someone that their cancer is growing is hard and I hope that I can, in some way, make the experience easier. 

What music/podcasts do you listen to while you are working? 

Unfortunately, I do not get much opportunity to listen to music whilst working, given that most of my time is spent with patients and their families.

How many cups of tea/coffee do you drink a day? 

A morning coffee (or 2) is a vital part of my day.