Hannah Wardill

Dr Hannah Wardill

NHMRC Externally-Funded Research Fellow B

School of Biomedicine

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Hannah Wardill is a dynamic early career researcher with a simple mission: prevent the long-term physical, emotional and economic disadvantages of cancer and its treatment by developing innovative supportive care solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of the patient.

After completing her PhD at the University of Adelaide and receiving Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Research Excellence, Hannah secured an NHMRC CJ Martin Biomedical training fellowship allowing her to relocate to the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Here she led a program of research dedicated to understanding how the microbiota contributes to chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, graft versus host disease (GvHD) and blood stream infection in both paediatric and adult cancers.

Hannah has recently returned back to Australia and now leads the Supportive Oncology Research Group - a multidisciplinary group dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of people affected by cancer. Since forming her group, Hannah has attracted >$2M in competitive funding, including $1.49M from the Medical Research Future Fund to investigate the efficacy of medicinal cannabis in controlling the side effects of chemotherapy, as well as funding from Cancer Australia, the Leukaemia Foundation and The Hospital Research Foundation.

In recognition of her contribution to the field of supportive cancer care, Hannah has been awarded the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer International Investigator Award, was named the South Australian Young Achiever, the Qiagen Microbiome Award winner, South Australian Tall Poppy of the Year and the 40Under40 Award for Social Impact.

Hannah's research is highly patient-centric, and based on a strong foundation of consumer engagement. She represents the University of Adelaide on the Health Translation SA Consumer Engagement Committee and established the Consumer Engagement Committee for the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer.

Overview: Dr Wardill completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide, under the guidance of A/Prof Joanne Bowen, Prof Rachel Gibson and Prof Richard Logan, completing her doctoral thesis in 2016. During her PhD she developed and validated the first TLR4 knockout mouse model of irinotecan induced mucositis, and in doing so, clearly demonstrated the impact of innate immune signaling and microbial dysbiosis on mucosal barrier injury and clinical toxicity. She was subsequently recognised for her contribution to the field of supportive oncology, named the 2016 MASCC Young Investigator of the Year and awarded the University Medal for Doctoral Research Excellence. After a short postdoctoral position at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Hannah established a highly interdisciplinary research team within Adelaide aiming to establish an autologous faecal transplantation service for people with blood cancer. This project has received funding support from two major hospitals across South Australia and has lead to numerous international collaborations across the Netherlands, Germany and the US. Hannah then took up a position at the largest medical centre in the north of the Netherlands where she lead numerous preclinical trials for new supportive care interventions, with Anakinra (IL-1RA) transitioning to clinical trial. In 2020, Hannah returned to Adelaide where she now leads the Supportive Oncology Research Group at SAHMRI. 

National and international standing: Hannah has been a member of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer and the Mucositis Research Group from 2013-present. She has presented at 9 consecutive meetings, with her work highlighted by plenary speakers. In 2017, Hannah was invited to act as section co-head for the update of the clinical practice guidelines for mucositis management and risk prediction (Wardill et al., 2019 JSCC). This involved leading a group of international scientists and clinicians to conduct a through review of the literature and the preparation of clinical practice guidelines. Hannah is the Vice-Chair of the MASCC Mucositis Study Group, leads the society's social media strategy and is an active committee member for the newly formed Consumer Engagement Group. Nationally, Hannah is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Primary Care Collaborative Cancer Clinical Trials Group (PC4), Chair for the Gut Dysfunction Node of the Cancer Symptoms Trials Group (Palliative Care Clinical Trials Collaborative) - each of which are funded by Cancer Australia. Hannah is also the Supportive Care / Survivorship lead for the South Australian Comprehensive Cancer Consortium (SACCC). 

Community engagement: As a 2021 Superstar of STEM and South Australian Tall Poppy, Hannah has a strong commitment to engaging the general community with scientific discovery. She has received significant media training through outlets such as Fresh Science and Thinkwell, which enable her to effectively communicate complex scientific research with lay audiences of many ages.  This has been demonstrated through her involvement with Science Alive, an interactive event for children held yearly, and her volunteer work with Lynch Syndrome Australia. Hannah also founded and maintains a blog pooisnottaboo.com which aims to provide scientifically accurate, yet exciting content about the advances in our understanding of the gut microbiome. Connect with her on Twitter @hannahrwardill @SuppOncRG! 

 

Contribution to field of research: Dr Wardill has an impressive publication track record for someone of her career stage, with numerous peer-reviewed research publications in top-tier oncology (e.g. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics) and gastroenterology journals (e.g. Gut). These publication include invited reviews, opinion pieces, mechanistic hypotheses, primary research (preclinical and clinical) and clinical practice guidelines. Hannah has also been invited to contribute to publicly available platforms such as eHospice, The Conversation and Future Oncology, as well as being invited to contribute to a book chapter. 

ORCID: 0000-0002-6613-3661

 

Active projects for prospective collaborators and students: 

Project 1

Title: Establshing a faecal microbiome transplantation protocol for the prevention of GvHD in allo-SCT recipients. 

Description: Graft versus host disease (GvHD) is the largest cause of treatment-related mortality in people with blood cancer. Damage to the intestinal barrier and associated disruption of the microbiome are key risk factors for GvHD severity and associated mortality. This project involves 1) a pilot study to assess the feasibility of delivering autologous faecal microbiome translation to stem cell transplantation recipients, and 2) development of a preclinical murine model of GvHD to evaluate autologous and donor faecal transplant efficacy. 

Location: SAHMRI / Royal Adelaide Hospital. 

Available for: Honours / PhD 

 

Project 2

Title: Personalised risk evaluation during cancer therapy (PREDiCT) 

Description: The outcomes of cancer therapy are highly heterogenous, with little understanding of the targetable factors that determine both efficacy and toxicity outcomes. This project aims to develop a comprehensive risk evaluation tool to predict an individual's response to treatment based on their own unique microbial composition, immune function, genetics and demographic variables (diet, medication, age, sex, etc). We recruit patients undergoing systemic anticancer therapy, for any cancer diagnosis, across three major sites across South Australia.

Location: Helen Mayo Building and SAHMRI.

Available for: Honours / PhD 

 

Project 3

Title: Neuroinflammation and its contribution to neurological disease in survivors of childhood cancer 

Description: Survivors of childhood cancer are at risk of long-term neurological disease including psychosocial changes, cognitive impairment, accelerated/premature neurodegeneration and cancer. This project aims to understand the molecular determinants of chronic neurological disease and develop translational prognostic methods. 

Location: Helen Mayo Building and SAHMRI.

Available for: Honours / PhD  

 

Project 4

Title: The CANCAN trial 

Description: An MRFF-funded trial investigating the use of medicinal cannabis to control the side effects of chemotherapy used to treat advanced cancer. 

Location: SAHMR. 

Available for: Masters / PhD  

 

 

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 - 2020 Postdoctoral Researcher The University of Groningen (University Medical Centre Groningen)
    2018 - 2022 NHMRC CJ Martin Biomedical Research Fellow The University of Adelaide and The University of Groningen
    2017 - ongoing UniSA Online Tutor The University of South Australia
    2016 - 2017 Postdoctoral Researcher South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2021 Award SA Tall poppy of the Year Australian Institute of Policy and Science Australia
    2020 Award Executive Dean's Early Career Researcher Award The University of Adelaide Australia
    2020 Award 40 Under 40 Award for Innovation and Entrepreneurship In Daily / Soltice Media Australia
    2020 Award 40 Under 40 Award for Social Impact In Daily / Solstice Media Australia
    2020 Award MedTech's Got Talent 2020 Winner MedTech Actuator Australia $10,000
    2019 Award Women's Research Excellence Award Winner The University of Adelaide Australia 5000
    2018 Award Qiagen International Microbiome Award Winner 2019 Qiagen Germany 79,116 USD
    2018 Award Future Science Group ECR Award Future Science Group United Kingdom
    2018 Award L'Oreal Women in Science (Finalist) L'Oreal Australia
    2017 Award SAHMRI Early Career Research Prize
    2017 Award SAHMRI Shark Tank Prize
    2017 Award South Australia Science Excellence Awards (PhD Excellence) Finalist South Australian Department of Industry and Skills Australia
    2017 Award SA Science Excellence Awards Finalist (PhD Excellence)
    2017 Award You Can Innovate Award Finalist
    2017 Award University Medal for Doctoral Research Excellence University of Adelaide Australia
    2016 Award Dean's Commendation for Research Thesis Excellence
    2016 Award Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology ‘Best Oral Presentation’
    2016 Award MASCC/ISOO Young Investigator of the Year
    2016 Award Channel 9 Young Achiever Award; Science and Technology
    2016 Award Fresh Science SA Winner
    2015 Award Australian Society for Medical Research Campion-Ma-Playoust Memorial Award
    2015 Award Florey Medical Research Foundation Prize; Best Poster
    2015 Achievement Channel 9 Young Achiever Award; Science and Technology Runner Up
    2015 Scholarship Florey Medical Research Foundation Doctor Chun Chung and Madam So Sau Lam Memorial Postgraduate Award
    2014 Award Florey Medical Research Foundation Prize; Best Poster
    2014 Achievement Channel 9 Young Achiever Award; Science and Technology Finalist
    2013 Scholarship Australian Postgraduate Award
    2012 Award Highest Honours Grade; School of Medicine
    2012 Award Bachelor of Health Sciences, Executive Dean's Certificate of Merit
    2012 Award Best Honours Poster Presentation
    2012 Recognition Mace Bearer
    2011 Award Highest Aggregate Grade in Major: Physiology (School of Medicine)
    2011 Award Highest Aggregate Grade in Major: Anatomical Sciences (School of Medicine)
    2011 Award Highest Aggregate Grade in Major: Reproductive Biology (School of Medicine)
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2013 - 2016 University of Adelaide Australia PhD, Medicine
    2012 - 2012 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)
    2009 - 2011 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Sciences
  • Research Interests

Year

Source of funding

Position

Amount

2022

The Hospital Research Foundation Research Fellowship

Sole CI

$570,000

2021

Cancer Council Beat Cancer Early Career Fellowship (not accepted due to competing fellowship offers) 

Sole CI

$480,000

2021

Neurosurgical Research Foundation

CIB

$50,000

2021

Medical Research Future Fund Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research - Medicinal Cannabis Clinical Trials Grant Opportunity 

CIB

$1.487 M

2021

Cancer Australia / Leukaemia Foundation PdCCRS

Sole CI

$183,347

2021

The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Infrastructure Grant (Zetasizer Ultra)

CIB

$112,300

2021

The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Infrastructure Grant (Ussing Chamber core facility update)

CIE

$29,796

2021

The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Emerging Leaders Grant

Sole CI

$40,000

2020

Nutricia (Danone) Research: Evaluating hydrolysed protein diet in tumour bearing model of MTX toxicity.

CIA

$25,000

2020

Onderzoeksproject Stichting Beatrix Kinderziekenhuis (The Beatrix Children’s Hospital Foundation)

CIC

€35,000

2019

MedTech’s Got Talent Winner

CIA

$10,000

2018

Qiagen Microbiome Awards - Developing a predictive algorithm for complications of paediatric cancer treatment.

Sole CI

USD 79,116

2018

The University of Adelaide, Women’s Research Excellence Award

Sole CI

$5,000

2018

The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Infrastructure Grant (EVOS Live Cell Imager)

CIB

$90,816

2018

The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Infrastructure Grant (Anaerobic Chamber)

CIE

$43,195

2018

NHMRC CJ Martin Biomedical Research Early Career Fellowship

Sole CI

$412,952

2018

Royal Adelaide Hospital Clinical Project Grant

CIA

$43,092

(+$30,000 co-funding)

2018

The Hospital Research Foundation Grant

CIA

$50,000

2017

The University of Adelaide FHMS ECR Project Development Mentorship Grant

CIA

$15,000

2017

The University of Adelaide FHMS Project Development Grant

CIB

$24,293

2017

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) ON Prime Program

CIA

$3,600

2017

The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Infrastructure Grant (Human Ussing Chamber)

CID

$41,600 (+$30,000 co-funding)

2015 -16

Florey Medical Research Foundation

Sole CI

$10,000

2014 -15

Australian Dental Research Foundation

CIA

$5,200

 

Undergraduate Teaching 

Throughout my postgraduate training and postdoctoral research, I have been actively involved in the teaching, supervision and mentoring of undergraduate and honours students. I have delivered lecture modules on Mucositis, gastrointestinal physiology and the oral cavity, have been intimately involved in the re-work of Human Biology 1A/B, been appointed as a MBBS case-based learning tutor, and am a member of the Indigenous Tutor Assistance Scheme. To date, I have been involved in the following courses (in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences) as a tutor or project supervisor: Human Biology I, Essentials of Pathology III, Cellular and Systems Neurobiology III, Cells Tissues and Development II, Biology of Disease II, Investigative Cell Biology III, Comparative Reproductive Biology of Mammals III, Comparative Neuroanatomy III, Structural Cell Biology III. 

My teaching has also been complimented by attendance of the 'BEST' Program: Becoming an Effective Supervisor and Teacher, a one-day Learning and Teaching course for Sessional Teachers, Tutors and Academic Staff of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. 

Online Education 

In 2015, I was invited to take part in the production, editing and delivery of the University's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), delivered through EdX and organised by Prof Mario Ricci. In its first year, there were over 5000 students enrolled. I helped with the production of interactive elements of the course, as well as reviewing the course content. I am now involved in moderation of the discussion board. In line with these roles, I also produced a literature review on current e-Assessment strategies that have been implemented in medical/health related tertiary education. This has been identified as a key area for growth by the Vice Chancellor and will be reviewed by the board for e-Assessment within the University of Adelaide. In 2018, I have also been appointed as a UniSA Online Educator (Health Sciences Course) as part of their new UniSA Online Initiative which aims to provide an entire course online, thus targeting a new student demographic. 

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 Co-Supervisor The CANnabinoids in CANcer Therapy (CANCAN) trial: using patient reported outcomes to assess gut distress Master of Philosophy (Public Health) Master Full Time Miss Katrina Cao
    2022 Principal Supervisor Modelling neurotoxicities following paediatric cancer treatments to improve cognitive outcomes and quality of survival Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Maya Rochelle Davies
    2022 Co-Supervisor The microbiome in cancer treatment toxicity in the gut Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Claire Patricia Vieyra
    2022 Co-Supervisor The role of gut microbiota in cancer development and response to therapy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Ifeoma Julieth Dikeocha
    2021 Co-Supervisor Mechanisms of bortezomib-induced gut dysfunction and novel strategies to mitigate its impact in people with multiple myeloma. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jacqui Steele Scott
    2019 Co-Supervisor The Role of TLR4 in Response to Chemotherapy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Elise Ellen Crame
    2019 Co-Supervisor The microbiome-gut-brain axis in chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Courtney Brooke Subramaniam
  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2018 - ongoing Member Information and Communication Committee Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer Australia
    2017 - ongoing Co-Chair Social Media Working Group The Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer
    2016 - ongoing Co-Chair Mucositis Study Group - Guideline Developemnt Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer Australia
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2021 - ongoing Secretary Consumer Engagement Committee Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer Canada
    2021 - ongoing Member Consumer Engagement Committee Health Translation SA Australia
    2021 - ongoing Co-Chair Mucositis Study Group Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer Canada
    2020 - ongoing Member EMCR Committee SAHMRI Australia
    2020 - ongoing Co-Founder Australasian Human Microbiome Network AHMRN Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member Information and Communication Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer United States
    2017 - ongoing Chair Social Media Engagement (Mucositis Study Group) Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer United States
    2017 - ongoing Co-Chair Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer: Update of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Mucositis (Risk Prediction)
    2016 - ongoing Member Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer; Mucositis Study Group
    2016 - ongoing Member Future Leaders Group
    2016 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Medical Research
    2015 - ongoing Member Neurological Complications Study Group Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer Canada
    2013 - ongoing Representative School of Medicine Board
    2013 - ongoing Representative School of Medicine HDR Committee
    2013 - 2016 Member Health Sciences Postgraduate Association (HESPA)
    2012 - ongoing Member Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer
    2012 - ongoing Member Golden Key International Honour Society
  • Position: NHMRC Externally-Funded Research Fellow B
  • Email: hannah.wardill@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: SAHMRI, floor 7 South
  • Org Unit: Medical Sciences

Connect With Me
External Profiles