Dr Frances Drummond

Principal Investigator

Research Institution: 
University College Cork
Research Location: 
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
Main Research Focus: 
Cancer survivorship and Health Services Research

Dr. Frances Drummond has been working in cancer research since 2005. She has a special interest in men’s cancer, in particular prostate cancer. She has a PhD in Biochemistry from University College Cork and following her degree in Biochemistry, completed a degree in Counselling and Social Science. She has also worked part-time as a counsellor for eight years.

Dr. Drummond’s research interests include cancer survivorship, the development of osteoporosis and health services research.

What is the main reason you got involved in cancer research?

Cancer is a disease which will affect many of us. It is important to improve our understanding of how we can reduce our cancer risk, and how we can improve the quality of life and psychological health of cancer survivors.

What’s the main aim of the Irish Cancer Society-funded project/initiative you’re currently working on?

The number of cancer cases and deaths from cancer is higher among men than women in Ireland. It is estimated that many of these cancers and cancer deaths in men can be prevented. We will work with the Irish Cancer Society to find out how they can help men to find information that could help them reduce their risk of cancer. The Mechanic Study is a new study funded by the Irish Cancer Society. The aim of this study is to look at men’s experience (aged 40 and older) of finding and understanding information to prevent cancer. The research will: look at how men access this information; identify what helps and stops men from using the Irish Cancer Society to get this information; and find out how and where men want to obtain cancer prevention information in the future.

What does your typical day involve?

In research every day is different. I read about new research, discuss ideas and findings with colleagues, talk with patients and healthcare professionals, write papers describing our results and apply for funding for future research projects. I always try to exercise and I enjoy spending time with my family.

What do people find most surprising about your work?

That all cancers are not the same and there is not a ‘one size fits all’ cure.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Research is always interesting and has the potential to improve the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of cancer patients and survivors.

Have you any advice for someone starting their career in cancer research?

Firstly, you have to have a passion for research! Secondly, it is important to find good people to work with, those who have similar values and goals to you, and those who will act to mentor you.

How do you see cancer research changing over the next 10 years?

The number of people living with and surviving cancer is increasing all the time. I hope to see more funding for research aimed at improving the lives of cancer survivors.

If you were not in research, what career would you have pursued?

I would be a child psychologist, working with children with inherited disorders.

How do you spend your spare time / what would someone be surprised to know about you?

I like to spend my spare time with my husband and daughter. We like learning how to do new things, currently we are learning how to make clothes. I enjoy being fit and challenging myself to new goals.