Beyond the lab: Dr Jennifer Currenti runs for liver cancer research at HBF Run for a Reason

By Sylvia Lee | 30 April 2024 

2024 Cure Cancer researcher Dr Jennifer Currenti will be trading their lab coat for running shoes to champion liver cancer research at HBF Run for a Reason in May. Here, they share some of their training tips and what it means to them that all 2024 Cure Cancer fitness events will be supporting their liver cancer project.

Liver cancer researcher Dr Jennifer Currenti smiles at the camera.

Dr Jennifer Currenti is a liver cancer researcher whose project is being funded by Cure Cancer this year. 

Every morning, Dr Jennifer Currenti begins their day with a group workout session, setting the tone for the demanding schedule ahead as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Curtin University and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, where they are exploring the use of immunotherapy in treating advanced liver cancer.

Amidst their vigorous work in the lab, Jennifer savours the moments when they can go on hiking and travel adventures with their partner Lidija, who is also a researcher. Of course, no adventure is complete without the company of their beloved miniature dachshunds, Chester and Link. 

A dedicated athlete, Jennifer’s love for fitness blossomed during their time at The University of Western Australia, where they completed a PhD on viral immunology in 2022, with the prestigious recognition of a Dean’s List Honourable Mention. Recently, they have embraced CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting, even participating in beginner’s competitions. “I find both to include very technical movements which require constant learning and focus,” Jennifer reflects. “They also have the most supportive and motivating members where your skill and fitness level are not important at all to participate.” 

Liver cancer researcher Dr Jennifer Currenti smiles alongside their partner and dogs

Dr Jennifer Currenti with partner Lidija and their beloved miniature dachshunds, Chester and Link.

In May this year, Jennifer and Lidija will be stepping up as Cure Cancer fundraisers by taking on the 12km race alongside friends at HBF Run for a Reason. Choosing a name for their HBF team came easily: Run Like the Winded. “The inspiration for the name came from our history of selecting group names that incorporate a pun,” Jennifer says. “This one captures the essence of running as both a physical challenge and an enjoyable activity shared with others of all levels and capabilities.”

Like all other 2024 Cure Cancer fitness events, funds raised at HBF Run for a Reason will go towards supporting Jennifer’s liver cancer research grant. Through their efforts, they are not just running a race but championing their own research.  

“I was inspired to fundraise for Cure Cancer this year due to the profound impact cancer has on the lives of countless individuals. Having funds raised from Cure Cancer fitness events serves as a source of inspiration and motivation. Knowing that people are actively contributing to my research gives me a sense of purpose and reinforces my commitment to making a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.”

In the lead up to race day, Jennifer is most looking forward to the infectious energy of Cure Cancer supporters and participants from all walks of life. It is an inspiring and uplifting day to be a part of, although I will also be looking forward to the finish line! 

Dr Jennifer Currenti’s 4 training tips for HBF Run for a Reason

Dr Jennifer Currenti training at the gym

Dr Jennifer Currenti has recently started CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting, even participating in beginner’s competitions.

While Jennifer will not be undertaking additional training on top of their usual workouts to prepare for HBF Run for a Reason — “a decision [they] may regret on the day” —, they have plenty of wisdom to share with other runners:  


  1. Stay consistent with your cardio training, which will allow you to build strength, improve endurance and speed, reduce risk of injury, and ultimately help you on the day of the race.  
  2. If running is not your preferred choice of cardio, you can substitute it for another form of training such as cycling, swimming or Pilates.  
  3. Consider training in a group as there’s a social element and no requirement to do your own programming.
  4. Remember, even a slow jog or a brisk walk during training contributes to your progress and stamina — every step counts! 

How you can support Dr Jennifer Currenti's liver cancer research

Dr Jennifer Currenti undertaking their liver cancer research in the lab at Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in conjunction with Curtin University.

Despite its devastating impact as the 4th leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, liver cancer research receives inadequate funding and lacks widespread awareness. Dr Jennifer Currenti remains hopeful that their Cure Cancer-funded research will lead to the development of a simple blood test. This test could revolutionise post-surgery care, offering doctors a more accurate and effective means of tailoring treatment plans for liver cancer patients. 

Feeling inspired to join Jennifer’s cause at HBF Run for a Reason 2024? Registrations close on Friday, 17 May at 11:59 pm - (GMT+08:00) Perth. There are three distances to choose from: half marathon, 12km and 4km. You can discover our other 2024 fitness events here.