Pip Marks 

Clinical Trials Coordinator, Viral Hepatitis Clincial Research Program

I was doing clinical trials in gastro-intestinal cancer and after 6 years I wanted a new challenge. I wanted to be doing research that really mattered to people.  And I wanted work in a disease area where the patients needed the most help. Hep C patients are among the most marginalised populations and I felt I could make a real impact to their lives. I also wanted to work with world class academics and Prof Greg Dore certainly fits that bill. And finally, I wanted to work at an institution with a great culture where people are accepted and appreciated for the work they do, where people can be true to themselves and where people’s voices are encouraged, regardless of what level they are paid at and a place where debate and a variety of ideas are welcomed.

The work the Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program has done on treating people who inject drugs for their hep C infection has been world-leading. In the early days this population was excluded from treatment. Our ATAHC, ATAHC II and ACTIVATE studies have produced the evidence that has contributed to change in policy both nationally and internationally and we’ve led the development of international HCV treatment guidelines for people who inject drug. The result is that Australia is one of only countries in the world currently providing universal access to new direct-acting antiviral therapies regardless of injecting status or disease stage.

The Kirby Institute is focused on helping the most marginalised people in society. We approach our research in an open and non-judgemental way. Kirby treats their staff in exactly the same manner. The diversity at Kirby is fantastic and I think all staff and students feel truly welcome, appreciated and accepted regardless of gender, race, religion and sexuality.