Professor Blackhall commenced Medical Oncology training at The Christie Hospital in 1995. In 1997 she began a Cancer Research Campaign Fellowship at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Manchester in the field of angiogenesis. From 2001-2003 she undertook a postdoctoral and clinical fellowship in lung cancer and translational prognostic and predictive biomarker research at Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto and Ontario Cancer Institute, Canada (2001-2003). She was appointed to Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Christie in 2005 and Clinical Senior Lecturer at The University of Manchester in 2007. Subsequently in 2016 she was awarded a Professorship in Thoracic Oncology. In 2007 she established internationally leading circulating tumour cell and prognostic biomarker research in collaboration with Professor Caroline Dive at the CRUK Manchester Institute. She is the Clinical Trials Theme Lead for the recently established CRUK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence (2014) which is a recognised research partnership between The University of Manchester and University College London.
Professor Blackhall has conducted over 50 therapeutic clinical trials, including practice changing precision medicine studies, and led on new directions in radiotherapy related research and supportive and palliative care research. In the UK she has served on the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) lung cancer group and the British Thoracic Oncology Group Steering Committee. In Europe she has served as co-chair of the translational subgroup of the European Thoracic Oncology Platform and on the scientific committee for the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) and on the ESMO consensus guidelines panel for lung cancer. She has been a faculty member and invited speaker for the American Society of Medical Oncology Annual Meeting and for the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. She has >130 peer reviewed publications and has regularly presented abstracts and invited talks at international congresses.