Researcher biography

Hana Starobova is an early career research fellow at the Sensory Neuropharmacology Group at the University of Queensland (UQ). Her research focuses on the understanding of cancer therapy-induced side effects and the development of mechanism-based prevention strategies.

Hana's long-term goal is to become a leading scientist conducting transformative science with translational potential and to create a research program bringing together researchers, industry, clinicians, and physiotherapists, who will work together towards innovative mechanism-based treatment strategies to improve the outcomes and the long-term impacts for cancer patients. This multidisciplinary collaborative research program will focus on preventing or treating cancer therapy induced-side effects in cancer patients with the long-term view to improve treatment outcomes and quality-of-life.

Hana was the first to discover that the Nod-like receptor 3 (NLRP3) activation and release of interleukin one beta drives the development of vincristine-induced peripheral neuropathy and the inhibition of those pathways effectively prevents the development of this debilitating side effect (JEM, 2021). Hana is an internationally recognised expert, and she has extensive experience in pharmacology, innate immunology, transcriptomics, peripheral pain mechanisms, rodent behavioural studies, target identification, development of new in vivo models and in vitro techniques and high throughput imaging. Moreover, her expertise includes the isolation and state of the art imaging of neuronal tissues. The quality of her research is evidenced by her track record, that is extraordinary for an early career researcher (PhD award July 2020), with a total of 18 publications (all Q1 journals) in the last 5 years which have attracted more than 1000 citations.

Hana has also been trained within the Homeward Bound Projects program (HB4, 2019-2020) to gain exceptional skills in leadership, supervision of younger generations, and the management of projects influencing policy and decision-making.