Navigating her way to clinical research projects in Queensland

27 August 2021

When Helen Breathnach arrived in Brisbane from Dublin, she was at a fork in the road. She could return to human resources in the corporate world or pursue a new career. Helen opted to study primary teaching, which ultimately led her to the world of health research. After teaching for six years, Helen completed a Master of Education Research and then a PhD. While she studied, she worked as a research assistant in QUT’s Faculty of Education before moving to the Health Faculty. There, Helen started a new phase of her career. In a project role, she led the development and implementation of projects to support strategic and operational outcomes. “Stepping into the health research space was outside of my comfort zone,” Helen said. “But I loved the collaboration with others and the opportunity to figure out the day-to-day issues and ways to solve them for everyone’s benefit. It was a privilege to work with so many smart people invested in their research and the next generation of researchers.” The opportunity to help more organisations problem-solve inspired Dr Helen Breathnach to join BDHP as its new Project Officer. “Organisations are focused on their core business, and they don’t have the space or time to tackle issues outside of this,” Helen said. In her role, Helen is working on the next iteration of BDHP’s Research Passport Agreement and related projects to achieve breakthroughs in clinical research governance. For example, how BDHP Partners might share physical assets, data and human resources to advance clinical research. In Queensland, there is huge potential and goodwill for this. Helen will help create a framework and platforms that will enable it. When she’s not at work, Helen is solving problems of a different kind. She admits to being a podcast fiend, relaxing as she devours unsolved crime mysteries while restoring furniture or baking.

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