The BioMelbourne Network team were saddened to hear of the passing of past staff member, Athina Tsagarakis, last week at the age of 49 years. Our condolences to Athina’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Members of the BioMelbourne Network team will attend her funeral on Tuesday 27th September. For further information about the funeral, please contact Nicole Pitcher on 9667 8181.
Tribute from former BioMelbourne Network CEO, Michelle Gallaher:
Athina was well-known to the Melbourne biotechnology sector and was the Network’s biotechnology strategic development plan project manager from 2008 to 2012.
Athina graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Monash University and held post-graduate business qualifications from RMIT.
Athina was a champion of gender equity for women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine and the advancement of the Australian clinical trials sector.
She had worked in the Victorian life sciences sector for more than 25 years in senior marketing and research management roles at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Radclin Medical Imaging, Medweb and ICN Biomedical Australasia.
Having survived extensive treatment for melanoma 15 years ago, Athina faced another melanoma diagnosis in April 2014. She was the first patient in a trial of stereotactic irradiation at Melbourne’s Epworth Hospital last year, in an effort to reduce the impact of neurological side effects, particularly memory loss, from radiation therapy on the brain. She had positive results from immunotherapy over the past year, but unfortunately not enough to save her from the invasive brain tumors that ultimately ended her life this week.
Athina was keen to contribute to new knowledge in immunotherapy and radiation therapy during her illness, and participating as a volunteer in trials gave her enormous satisfaction.
I’m sure she would have wanted to say thank you to many people in the sector who offered her support and advice over the past two years.