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Personal profile

Research Biography

Asoc Prof Erin Symonds is Senior Research Scientist with over 25 years of experience in gastroenterology research. Following completion of her PhD through the University of Adelaide and the Women's and Children's Hospital, she received a NHMRC CJ Martin Postdoctoral fellowship to conduct research in University College Cork, Ireland. Her work there was focussed on researching the maintenance of gastrointestinal health and the immune system with probiotic and nutritional interventions. She furthered this field of research within the Nutrigenomics and Nutrigenetics laboratory at CSIRO, Adelaide, followed by a senior research position on an industry grant within the Nerve Gut Laboratory, Royal Adelaide Hospital to assess how lifestyle changes alter the gastrointestinal tract nutrient sensing receptors.
Since the beginning of 2013 she has been managing the research at Bowel Health Services in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. She is an active researcher in optimising colorectal cancer screening and surveillance, and in developing biomarker tests, with strong translation of findings into practice. She has established a multidisciplinary network across Australia, including experts in biomarker discovery, clinical teams (gastroenterology, surgery, oncology and quality improvement), public health, psychology, epidemiology, data science and health economics. She works closely with consumers with lived experience of cancer and other gastrointestinal conditions to guide her team’s research. She leads her team in developing and optimising non-invasive diagnostic techniques for detection of colorectal cancer. This includes improving screening options for people in the community and monitoring for risk of cancer recurrence after surgery with novel blood biomarkers. She also conducts research within a personalised surveillance program for people at increased risk for bowel cancer (the SCOOP program), which has receiving received Medical Research Future Funds to expand the program across South Australia.


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Research Areas

  • Medical biosciences


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