Marianne Byrne

Clinical Trials Manager for the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney
June 2019
Each issue we ask someone from the alcohol and other drugs sector to share a little about their work and life.

This weekend I will…be trying to wrangle my Labrador pup and his 2-year-old lab cousin who I’m dog-sitting, so they don’t completely destroy the house. Though it’s usually difficult to get annoyed when I’m laughing so hard at their antics.

I wish I'd never...I have no regrets, but many lessons learnt.

I'd originally planned to work…I had no clue! I tried out veterinary science, commerce/law, and engineering degrees before eventually settling on general science “to keep my options open”.

The qualities I most value in my colleagues are...compassion, commitment, and a sense of humour.

I'll never many things! Recently, hiking Torres del Paine in Patagonia. Absolutely breathtaking!

I'm most scared of...magpies. Decades after a childhood attack, I swear they still specifically seek me out.

For my next holiday...I’m off to Fiji. Usually I prefer slightly more adventurous holidays, but I think I’ll manage to adjust. Next on the list is Tanzania.

I'm really terrible at...being in the spotlight!

Career wise, I’m most proud of...working alongside inspiring researchers to improve the lives of marginalised community groups. Both NDARC and the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney have researchers and operational staff working side by side in clinical trial research. This facilitates great transdisciplinary collaboration and is an important symbiotic relationship because, from concept to dissemination, the research project receives critical insight from both viewpoints.

My big hope for the drug and alcohol sector is...that we can successfully generate and implement novel interventions with real impact. The ASCEND (Advancing the health of people who use drugs: hepatitis C and drug dependence) program is an exciting opportunity to contribute to new knowledge which will inform policy, practice and models of care, with global impact. It brings together disciplines of hepatitis and drug dependence research for mutual benefit.

Marianne Byrne

Marianne joined the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) as Clinical Trials Manager in 2018, working in a joint appointment with the Kirby Institute and is responsible for managing the ASCEND program (Advancing the health of people who use drugs: hepatitis C and drug dependence).

She has worked with the Kirby Institute since 2011 in various project management roles for prison- and community-based hepatitis C clinical research projects, including the SToP-C study (Surveillance and Treatment of Prisoners with Hepatitis C).

Previously, Marianne has worked in the not-for-profit, academic and government sectors managing oncology, neurology and mental health clinical trials and health promotion projects.