Meet the team

Get to know the talented people that make up the Slade team.

Larissa Gomes dos Reis

On 11 February, we celebrated International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGS) – recognising the exceptional work of women in science who endlessly push for innovation to ensure a better world.

One of those exceptional women is our Principal Scientist and 2023 Icon of the Year, Larissa Gomes dos Reis.

During her schooling years, Larissa developed a passion for science and research. Recognising her skills, her science teacher suggested she investigate career opportunities in pharmacy.

Larissa followed their advice and now leads Slade Health’s Drug Stability Testing and Research Laboratory as Principal Scientist, finding, developing and implementing ways to increase pharmaceutical drug stability.

The impact of her work is long ranging, making care more accessible to patients in remote locations, due to the increased longevity of specialised compounding treatments, while also streamlining processes.

Our Drug Stability Testing and Research Laboratory opened its doors in March 2023 – the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere – and now boasts a team of five leading the way in the stability of medicines and extending their shelf life.

Larissa studied a Bachelor of Pharmacy at Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora in Brazil. After graduating with her degree, Larissa worked in various pharmacy and compounding environments in Brazil, trying a bit of everything to learn what she wanted to do. She ultimately found her calling in Stability.

In 2014, Larissa came to Australia to learn English, intending to move back to Brazil. However, her plans changed when she received a PhD scholarship at the University of Sydney. After graduating, Larissa worked with the University of Sydney research team on gene therapy and some work with cancers.

In February 2021, Larissa joined Slade Health to help establish the lab in Mount Kuring-Gai – helping build the layout, creating processes and procedures, and building a team to manage the lab and the stability studies with her.

Innovation and impact – the two things Larissa embodies most in her work. 

Larissa’s work in drug stability testing has greatly impacted Slade Health, Icon Group and our patients, with her work extending the shelf life of our chemotherapy drugs – meaning less time pressure on our compounding team, creating less wastage and greater travel distance for the drugs helping us serve more rural and regional communities. The team have extended shelf-life of some drugs up to 90 days. 

Some recent work has seen the extended shelf-life of one of our chemotherapy drugs from 24 hours to six days. Any instability leads to more side effects in patients receiving the chemotherapy. 

The team smashed this challenge, but Larissa said this is part of their everyday work in the lab. 

“A challenge means innovation, and if there is nothing to learn or challenge about the molecule and drug, it may mean you’re not doing it right,” Larissa said.

“Some projects have us working long hours for 20 days straight – so it was exhausting but rewarding.”

Larissa said the work of Slade Health’s Drug Stability Testing and Research Laboratory has and will continue to help Icon expand its reach and provide care closer to home.  

“We are part of the only stability labs able to provide care to Australia,” she said. 

“Australia is expansive and has very remote areas, making extended partial life crucial for us as the extended stability means we can deliver something to the patients closer to home, so they don’t have to travel.

“And though we have a lot of days where things don’t work – we know if we overcome them and find a solution, we’ll be able to impact processes and patients in a month or two. It’s an extra drive that motivates us to deliver.”

Larissa said though she was named Icon of the Year for her work in the Stability team, she wouldn’t be able to do it without her team. 

“I have a brilliant team who works with me, and we sit together and discuss every problem daily,” she said.

“I may be the lead helping drive the results and decisions, but they are there to deliver and execute – they are masters in what they do. It’s not just my success, it’s theirs too.”

The team have already made leaps and bounds over the past year – but this is only the beginning, with new solutions formulated and stability testing getting more efficient thanks to their hard work and dedication.


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