My role resides within the area of lung cancer treatment, specifically in late stage clinical trials in immuno-oncology. This an extremely exciting area to be in, particularly now as we are pushing boundaries, and seeing ideas and concepts become a reality. 

The idea of using the immune system to kill off cancer cells has been around for a long time, but now it is a reality: Immuno-oncology and building further on this concept is the new frontier and a big hope in the treatment of cancer.

Kirsha Naicker Global Study Medical Scientist Leader, Immuno-oncology

As a Senior Project Scientist, I have been involved in the everyday scientific and medical aspects of a large global clinical trial in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. In January 2019, I stepped into the Global Study Medical Scientist Leader role where I am now the clinical/scientific lead of a clinical trial within the Immuno-oncology team. I work in a global matrix team – planning and executing clinical trials across the globe – and I am extremely fortunate to work with some of the most experienced, intelligent and down to earth people I have ever met.


Knowing that we can improve the lives of patients and thereby their families all over the world is incredibly inspiring. There is so much we can contribute, and I look forward to the breakthroughs that we will achieve together through hard work and commitment.

Kirsha Naicker Global Immuno-oncology Medical Scientist Study Leader

My passion for science has been with me since childhood. As the years progressed and I grew older, my interest in human science, disease, the way the human body operates and our ability to influence disease grew with me. I completed my Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree at University College Dublin (UCD) in Cell and Molecular Biology after which I pursued a Master of Science (MSc) in Molecular Medicine in Trinity College Dublin (TCD). I then went onto further education and completed my PHD in UCD, researching the role of SATB proteins in colorectal cancer in 2013. I spent some time travelling upon completion of my PHD and I then moved to London, UK in early 2014 to work as an Oncology Business Insights Analyst focussing on oncology products for a global information and technology resources company. Using this experience as well as my passion for science, I joined AstraZeneca in 2015 as a Medical Scientist in immuno-oncology. Oncology has greatly interested and inspired me through the years as I don’t think I know anyone who has not been touched by this disease in some way, so for me, Oncology is a very worthwhile and rewarding area in which to grow and learn personally and professionally.

Kirsha Naicker


Global Immuno-oncology Medical Scientist Study Leader

January 2019 – present

Global Immuno-oncology Medical Scientist Study Leader: leading the design, conduct, data monitoring, data interpretation and reporting, ensuring that clinical studies operate to the highest ethical and safety standards.


Lead scientist on a Global Phase 3 study. Setup the medical scientist’s forum in Immuno-oncology late stage development. Active member of the initiative ‘Our Future Reimagined’, improving the way we work.


Medical scientist involved in all scientific and medical activities in a Global phase 3 Study. Founding member of the Immuno-oncology Clinical study protocol and Investigator Brochure development standards team.

Featured publications

SATB2 in Combination with Cytokeratin 20 Identifies Over 95% of all Colorectal Carcinomas

The American Journal of Surgical Pathology - 2011. Publication link.

IL-23 Is pro-proliferative, epigenetically regulated and modulated by chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer

Baird et al Lung Cancer IL-23. Publication link

SATB2 loss and the immune milieu of colorectal cancer (CRC)

Journal of Clinical Oncology 2018. Publication link.

Abstract 698: The loss of SATB2 promotes ulcerative colitis-related colon cancer progression through altered localized inflammatory response

Cancer Research 2018. Publication link.

Abstract LB-444: SATB2 is a novel prognostic factor in colorectal cancer

Cancer Research 2012. Publication link.