After completing a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Helen commenced as a research assistant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital where she supported research in acute leukaemia and reprogramming of stem cells. In 2000, she moved to the University of Melbourne and joined a research group focussed on characterizing the genetic and epigenetic factors responsible for cancer predisposition and progression, including familial aggregation of cancers. In 2008, Helen was appointed as biorepository manager of the Genetic Epidemiology biorepository that housed PEDIGREE, a collection of mature population-based cohorts. PEDIGREE encompasses 150,000+ people, 25,000 cancer families, 3,000,000+ bio-specimens and its associated data. The biorepository actively supported national and international research endeavours and has contributed to more than 15 international consortia. In 2018, Helen relocated to Monash University and was appointed manager of the Precision Medicine biorepository and the new initiative “Biobanking Victoria”. Biobanking Victoria aims to provide researches, industry and pharma a comprehensive sample management solution and to make available high quality and well annotated biospecimens.
Helen engages with multi-disciplinary research groups to provide lab support from protocol development through to sample distribution. She has developed and implemented a quality management system to ensure high quality products and efficient sample processing. Currently she is heavily involved in the customisation of a LIMS. Helen is a member of the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER).