A/Prof Francis is an academic Nuclear Medicine Physician. She is A/Prof of Molecular Imaging with University of Western Australia and is Head of Department of Nuclear Medicine/ WA PET Service at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
A/Prof Francis obtained her medical degree at UWA before travelling to the UK to undertake a Cancer Research UK Clinical Research Fellowship and a PhD at the Royal Free Hospital London on antibody therapies. On returning to Australia she completed specialist training in Nuclear Medicine, and continued her research endeavors, resulting in a joint clinical/academic appointment since 2010.
A/Prof Francis has a particular interest in novel molecular imaging /PET tracers, and has contributed to research in oncology, cardiology, neurology and inflammatory diseases. She has expertise in clinical trials in Nuclear Medicine, including trial design and conduct. She has a particular interest in quantitative data and in comparable data-sets, which is built on the foundation of harmonization and quality in Nuclear Medicine clinical trials.
A/Prof Francis has local, national and international collaborations. She is co-investigator on a recent NHMRC CRE grant for National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases, led by Prof Nowak. A/Prof Francis leads the molecular imaging component of this integrated research program. A/Prof Francis is a co-investigator on several multicentre collaborative clinical trials including MRFF grant of >$1.5 million to support a multicenter clinical trial of FET PET imaging in high grade glioma, two Prostate Cancer Research Alliance/ Movember Australia $4 million national grants supporting theranostic approaches to prostate cancer and an MRFF Neurological Disorders grant in Alzheimer’s disease.
A/Prof Francis has been integral in the establishment of Australasian Radiopharmaceutical Trials Network (ARTnet) and has been the inaugural scientific chair since 2014. This network has facilitated several successful multicentre clinical trials in Australia, which have international impact. ARTnet has also established quality programs including PET camera accreditation, and radiopharmaceutical production standards which are critical for imaging validity in multicentre trials.
In 2020 A/Prof Francis was appointed Deputy Director of WA National Imaging Facility (NIF) node. In partnership with WA NIF node Director, Prof Paul Parizel, they are working with UWA and partners to deliver a new dedicated human research imaging facility including 3T MRI and digital PET-CT. This facility will be a significant boost to researchers, patients and clinical trials in Western Australia.
A/Prof Francis has recently collaborated with Prof Martin Ebert to establish the Australian Centre for Quantitative Imaging (ACQI). ACQI represents an innovative approach in medical imaging to enhance and develop opportunities in quantitative imaging and AI.