Professor Pernilla Lagergren
Research and Investigation
Clinical practice as a Specialist Nurse has led to research in oesophageal cancer survivorship
Health Professionals Academic Group
Was appointed as chair and lead of the newly formed HPAG which sits within the Division of Surgery
1. How did you find yourself working in this area?
I have a clinical background as a specialist nurse working closely with many oesophageal cancer patients. I was their primary contact during their entire cancer trajectory and followed their often troublesome and incomplete recovery. It was in my clinical work my research restarted, focusing on oesophageal cancer survivorship.
2. What do you hope to achieve within your career that you haven’t already?
Help improve the quality and visibility of care science research, and help promote this very important research area broadly. And to find ways to better implement the findings from care science research into clinical practice.
3. What do you feel is the most rewarding/enjoyable aspect of your career at Imperial? And what is the most challenging?
To have been recruited by nomination to one of the best universities in the world is the most rewarding and also the appointment as the leader of the new Healthcare Professional Academic Group (HPAG) that was launched in October 2018. It will be an enjoyable and at the same time challenging task to gather healthcare professionals (outside medicine) interested in research in order to increase the number of clinical healthcare professional academic leaders and promote valuable collaborations.
4. Who would you say is your role model?
I do not have any particular named role model, but I get much inspiration from other researchers who always prioritise research that can directly benefit patients.
5. What advice would you give to someone coming into this field?
Go for it, follow your interest and curiosity and avoid detailed career plans. Share your research ideas with colleagues already involved in research to get guidance. Consider your supervisors, collaborators and/or mentors carefully, they are crucial for development and progression of your research. Be patient, things always take longer time than expected. Complete your projects and avoid too much jumping from one project to another.
6. What does being a Woman in Science mean to you?
The same as a Man in science. Should not be any differences.
7. How do you balance the demands of the job with your time outside of work?
I see my work as a part of my life and I enjoy it very much. I check my emails with curiosity at any time during the day, and at the same time I can play with the kids without thinking of the work at any time (almost). To have a flexible calendar makes life much easier. My husband (who is also a researcher) and I plan the weeks together so that we can help each other with the work needed to be done outside of work. I go to and from work by bike or running which is a great way of getting the daily exercise done, which also provides valuable time for thinking and some planning.
8. What are your hobbies/interests?
Aside family life and family activities, I enjoy exercising a lot, it is a way to clear my mind and load energy. I do triathlon and next year I will do a full IRONMAN.
Three words to sum up your experience working within the Department of Surgery and Cancer?
Opportunities; collaborations; quality