Avatar acceptability survey

We're doing a survey about emerging technologies that use a person's cells to predict how they will respond to certain medications. Like to join in?

Contact details

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Dr Laura Fawcett or Dr Shafagh Waters.

Thank you!

When it comes to medication, everyone responds to drugs differently. New technologies in medicine are making it possible to develop truly personalised care for people with serious, chronic and life-limiting disease.

This short video is part of a research survey with UNSW that asks people about their perspectives on the new technologies that may be available in the near future.

If you wish to participate in this survey, please watch the video describing the new "avatar" technology and fill out the following questionnaire, which will take about 10 minutes to complete. These technologies are not available to the public but are available as a research pipeline in some laboratories.

Video script

Only you are you, and your genes are unique to you. When it comes to medication, everyone responds to drugs differently. To put it simply, one size does not fit all.

The best practice is to match medications to one’s genetics. To truly understand how a patient might react to a drug it is ideal to test the drugs in a created environment that best reflects the patient. This is called personalised medicine.

It's a way to find the perfect fit is by testing medications on cells collected from a person. The collected cells can be from the inside of a patient’s own nose, lungs or stomach. The cells are grown in a special gel-like substance, which allows the cells to form mini organ-like structures. These mini-organs or organoids act like an ‘avatar’ for a person as they can be copied in the lab, so that millions of copies are available for different drugs to be tested on.

Scientists can then potentially determine what works on a patient’s avatar and from there suggest the best therapy for that specific patient. This approach would hopefully improve patient care and take the guesswork out of the game.

How the survey works

This survey is formally called the "Avatar acceptibility study: acceptability of using personalised mini-organ-avatars to accelerate drug discovery and predict drug response". 

If you wish to participate in this survey, please watch the short video describing the new "avatar" technology. After that, we will ask you some questions using an online questionnaire, which you can find here.

It will take about 10 minutes in total to watch the video and complete the questionnaire afterwards.

Ethics approval

This project has been approved by Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any concerns about the conduct of this study, please contact the Executive Officer at the Ethics Committee (02 9845 3066) and quote approval number LNR/18/SCHN/526.