Training the next generation of clinician researchers

Associate Professor Erin Symonds first became involved in the Advanced Studies program in 2018, when two medical students joined her research team. Since then, she has supervised and supported a further 12 students.

“My team is based in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, and our main research focus is on colorectal cancer prevention. Our work includes developing new non-invasive biomarkers and optimising clinical care for individuals at risk for cancer. The research is done in close collaboration with gastroenterologists, surgeons and oncologists from Flinders Medical Centre, to ensure our study outcomes have potential for clinical translation.

I have really enjoyed my experience with the advanced studies program. It is rewarding to train the next generation of clinical researchers, to see their skills and their understanding of research grow each year, and to see their commitment to their project. It is particularly rewarding to see them turn their research into conference presentations and publications, to share their outcomes with the scientific community. The students become valued members of our team, and it is nice to hear from them after they graduate with how their career and other research experiences are progressing.”

Mahadya Rahman, MD4 student

MD Year 4 student Mahadya Rahman feels privileged to be included in  A/Prof Symonds’ research team.

“Erin is an absolutely amazing supervisor. She has a wealth of knowledge and has consistently been a source of mentorship and support throughout my Advanced Studies journey.”

Erin, Mahadya and colleagues have recently published findings to support the use of fecal immunochemical tests for personalising colonoscopy-based surveillance intervals for individuals with above-average-risk of colorectal cancer:

Wassie, M.M., Young, G.P., Winter, J.M., Cock, C., Bampton, P., Rahman, M., Heddle, R., Fraser, R., Meng, R., &  Symonds, E.L. (2023). Multiple Negative Fecal Immunochemical Tests Reduce Risk of Advanced Neoplasia in a Colonoscopy Surveillance Program, Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

We extend congratulations and thanks to Erin and her team for training and supporting medical students through Advanced Studies.

Find out more about Advanced Studies

To request more information about Advanced Studies, or propose a research project or register to supervise a student research project, please email

Advanced Studies research project proposals are now being accepted for 2024

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Advanced Studies Students