Sean Harrison

What motivated you to come to Bristol and do this programme?

Before coming to Bristol, I was involved with research trying to improve prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer. I wanted to continue that research, and Bristol was the natural choice - both the research and staff here are excellent. The four-year programme was also a factor, I think the year of mini-projects is really beneficial, and I learnt a lot from mine.

What is the key research question of your PhD research project and what have you found out so far?

The key question is whether there are any individual lifestyle characteristics that are associated with both prostate cancer and PSA, and whether we can account for the effect on prostate cancer to get the pure effect of the characteristic on PSA. We can then account for this effect when doing a PSA test., with the aim of making PSA a more useful tool in detecting prostate cancer. However, the problem is complex and may take more time than a PhD allows.

Where do you think your research could lead and what are your future career plans now?

The hope is that my research will lead to improved diagnosis of prostate cancer, so fewer men without cancer have to go for futher tests, and men with cancer aren't missed. This will take time, and I would like to continue my research after the end of the PhD.

Edit this page