Asmaa Elshahawy – KHPeople

The Data Manager at King’s College Denmark Hill Haematology (KCDHH) Biobank discusses her passion for haematology, and her history as a haemato-pathology specialist in Egypt.

What is your role within King’s Health Partners? 

Asmaa Elshahawy I am the Data Manager of the King’s College Denmark Hill Haematology (KCDHH) Biobank, located at the Rayne Institute. Our aim is to support and facilitate basic and translational research on the aetiology, diagnosis, and prognosis of blood diseases, with the support of haematology patients.

My role involves overseeing day-to-day clinical data collection and annotation. Additionally, I act as the primary point of contact for researchers seeking access to biobank samples. This includes guiding them through the application process, conducting sample identification, clinical data collection, and arranging the Material Transfer Agreement.

I also chair the quarterly Access sub-committee meetings to review new sample access applications and provide updates on Biobank data, including recruitment rates and clinical annotation progress.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

There are several aspects; one is gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of biobank operations and the critical role data management plays in supporting medical research. Working in the biobank has provided me with a comprehensive understanding of the specific requirements and challenges of managing healthcare data and systems.

Additionally, I value the diversity of tasks that comes with the role - from networking with personnel and stakeholders, such as scientists, clinicians, and researchers, to chairing meetings and handling day-to-day tasks. 

Moreover, I am passionate about the breadth of our work and its impact on research advancement, drug development, and patient care. This aligns with my passion for haematology. 

What inspired you to get into this work? 

As a former haemato-pathology specialist in Egypt with a Master's degree in clinical haemato-pathology, I have long been obsessed with research in haematology field. Given my passion for clinical research - joining the biobank became the right avenue for me to start getting involved and explore the UK's haematology research system after I relocated to this country.

This role allows me to share my knowledge and skills in clinical haematology and experience in dealing with healthcare data, as well as contributing at a system level - collaborating with researchers to impact in haematology research. But what truly motivates me is helping in making a difference in the outcomes of haematology patients.

What are the benefits of working in partnership? 

Working in King's Health Partners offers numerous benefits - firstly, combining efforts and strengths of different partners helps come up with better solutions and problem-solving approaches. Furthermore, knowledge exchange among experts from various backgrounds and sub-specialities, effectively addresses complex work questions. Overall, the partnership leads to significant progress and improvement across various fields. 

What would be your top career tips?

Always appreciate patients' generosity in providing samples and recognise the value of research in improving outcomes. Continuously seek new learning opportunities and build good relationships within your team. Building a supportive network can significantly enhance career success and fulfilment.

Learn more about the KCDHH Biobank on the KHP website here.