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Q and A with Dr Pat Thomas

Tuesday 04 May 2021

Behind the microscope: Dr Pat Thomas

Research Project: Queensland Bladder Cancer Initiative (QBCI)

Collaborative team: A/Prof I Vela, A/Prof E Williams, A Tariq, M Trau, K O'Byrne, P Morrison, S Khan.

Where are you from? Where did you grow up?

Darlinghurst, NSW originally. But moved up to Brisbane when I was 5 and have been here ever since

Do you work in a clinical or research setting? And what made you want to get into the work you do?

I work in a research setting over at The Translational Research Institute (TRI). My research is primarily basic research in a wet laboratory, however the samples I use are nearly all from patients undergoing clinical care for bladder and prostate cancer at the PA Hospital.

Originally, as every young undergraduate biology student I thought I would go into medicine. During my first research experience investigating breast cancer, however, I had an amazing mentor who had suffered from the disease as young researcher. She was a major source of inspiration and I found out how much medical research could help the community, the people you admire and lead to a positive change. I've been a cancer researcher ever since.

Outside of work what do you like to do? Any hobbies, sports or special interests you're involved in?

Absolutely love cooking. Sometimes I'll just grab random things I've never heard of and just see what happens.

If you had to recommend one book to read what would it be?

1984 by George Orwell. It's my go to recommendation (as I'm sure it is for a lot of other people).

Who is your favourite musician/or band?

I just keep going back to Indie rock, so currently British India. But always a huge Tame Impala fan.

If you could invite three people to a dinner party, anyone in the world, who would they be and why?

Great question!


  • Charles Darwin
  • Aristotle
  • My younger self
  • (if we can choose four, I'd choose fictional character Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty)


Wouldn't it just be interesting to spend dinner (assuming that both Charles Darwin and Aristotle could understand you) pitting all their philosophical ideologies on life together while you watch your younger self be blown away. Divine design vs evolution while I sip wine and barely keep up. Fictional character inclusion for a laugh!