Our Team

The ihop research team is made up of leading researchers and clinicians who all share a common goal of improving health outcomes for people via research and research translation.

Our administrative base is at Griffith University, Menzies Health Institute Queensland at Griffith University, Australia.

You can read more about our senior researchers, and research, project and student team members, in the sections below.

 

Senior Research Staff

Research Staff

  • Dr Carolina Sandler
    Carolina Sandler is an Exercise Physiologist and Postdoctoral researcher within the Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ), Griffith University. Carolina also is a Postdoctoral Fellow at UNSW in the School of Medical Sciences. Carolina’s program of research focuses on the role of exercise in cancer survivorship and interventions for fatigue states. Carolina’s PhD focused on intervention for chronic fatigue states (chronic fatigue syndrome, post-cancer fatigue, post-infective fatigue); whilst her Post-doctoral research has focused on the role of exercise and physical activity in brain cancer and metastatic breast cancer. She is an active member of the ihop research group where she collaborates on several cancer survivorship studies including in women with ovarian cancer, lymphedema, advanced breast cancer and brain cancer. More information on publications by Carolina can be found here.
  • Dr Rosa Spence
    Dr Spence is an Exercise Physiologist and Postdoctoral researcher within the Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ), Griffith University. Her cancer survivorship research has a focus on understanding the role of exercise post-cancer and translating exercise into standard cancer care. Dr Spence’s clinical work concentrates on cancer survivors with complex exercise prescription needs, for example, individuals with multiple comorbidities, bone lesions, profound physical deconditioning or advanced cancer progression. Dr Spence is also currently the Senior Exercise Physiologist on the ECHO trial (Exercise during Chemotherapy for Ovarian cancer), which she provides her the perfect blend of research, teaching, and hands-on exercise prescription. Rosa’s experience is primarily with colorectal, breast and ovarian cancer survivors, which has given her an understanding of a wide range of cancer-related barriers to exercise. She was an author on the ESSA national position stand on exercise prescription during and following cancer and the “Exercise is Medicine” Fact Sheets. Dr Spence is passionate about helping cancer survivors to optimise their outcomes through exercise and her favourite part of the job is working one-on-one with cancer survivors and helping them set and meet their exercise goals. More information on publications by Rosa can be found here.
  • Dr Melanie Plinsinga
    Dr Melanie Plinsinga is a Research Fellow at ihop within Menzies Health Institute Queensland at Griffith University, an adjunct Research Fellow at The University of Queensland, and an Associate Fellow at The Higher Education Academy. Melanie has an undergraduate degree in Human Movement Sciences, a Master of Research in Sports Sciences (The Netherlands) and graduated from The University of Queensland with a PhD (2019). Melanie is an early career researcher in the field of chronic pain, with particular interest in exercise management and rehabilitation. She is skilled in clinical research, statistics, data analysis, teaching and has strong national and international collaborative network in Australia and Europe. Melanie’s work is published in leading journals including the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM). Within ihop, Melanie will use her expertise to address unanswered questions in cancer-related pain to improve lives through the prevention and better management of pain. More information on publications by Melanie can be found here.
  • Melissa Creed
    Research Officer
    Melissa Creed is an accredited Exercise Physiologist and undertakes exercise science and research assistant roles with ihop projects.  Melissa has completed a Masters of Research, implementing a walking intervention for women undergoing chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer.

Project Staff

  • Sheree Rye
    Sheree Rye is a Senior Research Assistant at Menzies Health Institute, Griffith University. Sheree undertakes Project Management roles with ihop projects. Sheree has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and has completed a Masters of Research exploring levels of physical activity among breast cancer survivors.
  • Nicole McDonald
    Nicole McDonald is a Research Manager at Menzies Health Institute, Griffith University. Nicole assists with the management and delivery of research undertaken by the ihop team. Nicole also has a Master of Public Health (Health Promotion Major) and an undergraduate Bachelor of Exercise Science and Bachelor of Public Health.
  • Chloe Harris
    Chloe Harris is a Accredit Exercise Physiologist (AEP) for the iHop research group. Chloe graduated with a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology from QUT in 2018 and is an accredited exercise physiologist and member of Exercise and Sports Science Australia. Chloe has been involved in the ihop research group since 2018 undertaking research assistance roles within the ihop projects.

Research Students

  • Tamara Jones
    Tamara Jones is a Research Fellow at ihop within Menzies Health Institute Queensland at Griffith University. Tamara has an undergraduate degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology and will be completing her PhD at Griffith University in 2021. Tamara is an early career researcher in the field of exercise oncology, with a particular interest in the role of physical activity and exercise in advanced cancer types. She has experience in clinical research, data analysis, teaching and delivering multi-disciplinary interventions. More information on publications can be found here. Within ihop, Tamara will use her experience to address unanswered questions regarding physical activity patterns, and the safety and feasibility of exercise for women undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer.
  • Riley Dunn
    Riley Dunn is an MMR student within the ihop research group. Riley graduated with a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology from QUT in 2019 and is an accredited exercise physiologist and member of Exercise and Sports Science Australia. Riley’s research investigates the way adverse event and symptom recording occurs in exercise oncology trials, including the development of safety reporting protocols in exercise oncology trials. Riley also undertakes exercise physiology and research assistant roles within iHop research projects, and is involved in undergraduate exercise physiology teaching.
  • Gabrielle Gildea
    Gabrielle Gildea is a Masters student within the ihop research group. Gabrielle graduated with a bachelors of Clinical Exercise Physiology from QUT in 2020 and is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist as well as a member of Exercise Sports Science Australia. During her undergraduate degree, Gabrielle also completed her honours within the ihop group and was awarded first class. Her project looked at the safety, feasibility, and acceptability of an 18-week exercise intervention for people with brain cancer. Now completing a Master of Philosophy, Gabrielle is comparing the barriers of exercise for those with brain, breast and ovarian cancer. Gabrielle is also a research assistant within ihop research projects.
  • Jessica Waztek
    Masters Student
    Jessica Watzek is a Masters of Medical Research student within the iHop Research Group. Jess graduated with a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology with Distinction from QUT in 2020 and is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Member of Exercise Sports Science Australia currently working within a Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Clinic in Coorparoo. Jess’s research currently investigates the cost-benefit relationship of exercise interventions within Breast Cancer patients. Jess also undertakes research assistance roles within the ihop projects.