graduated from the University of Melbourne, and subsequently obtained her Fellowship in Medical Oncology and a Masters of Medicine in Palliative Care.
She worked in the area of cancer genetics in City Hospital, Nottingham and breast cancer in Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto. She has worked solely in the area of breast cancer for nearly 20 years and has a strong commitment to breast cancer research, having personally recruited over 1100 patients to clinical trials and has served on the academic steering committee of three international studies. She has authored >100 breast cancer publications in journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Oncology and Journal of Clinical Oncology; and has been a accessor for UK NHS, young investigator and NHMRC grants.
She is an adjunct professor in the school of medicine at Curtin University and was a founding member of Breast Cancer Research Centre-WA. She established the Helen Sewell Breast Cancer Tumour Bank which has led to the collection of over 3000 annotated breast cancer samples for future research. She is currently the Director of the Breast Clinic Trials Unit of the Breast Cancer Research Centre-WA, based at Hollywood Private Hospital in Perth, Western Australia.
She was awarded the Western Australia of Year Award in Professions 2016 for her contribution in the field of science at a state, national and international level and was a finalist for Australian of the Year in 2017.