A/Prof Kirk is a specialist in cancer genetics who has worked in cancer care for almost 40 years. She gained her medical degree at Sydney University in 1980. She originally trained in paediatric oncology, then molecular genetics. Since 1994 A/Prof Kirk has been the Director of the Familial Cancer Service at Westmead, a service that provides genetic counselling and testing for families with a strong family history of cancer. She participates in local and national research regarding the familial aspects of cancer and has played a key role in leading this new clinical discipline in Australia. Although her role is largely clinical, her collaborative research has generated over 140 publications in peer reviewed journals.