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2014 Research Awards

Thanks to the generosity of the Australians who share our Vision to Cure, the Leukaemia Foundation is proud to support the work of Australia's best blood cancer researchers through our annual grant awards. New grants awarded in 2014 are listed below. Continuing grants awarded in previous years can be found at Past Research Grant Awards.

Dr Carolyn Grove

In acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), mutations to the FLT3 gene are strongly associated with a poor prognosis. While drugs that target this gene mutation are being trialled, over time AML cells appear to acquire gene mutations that allow them to resist the drugs.

Read More about: Dr Carolyn Grove

Dr Emma Josefsson & Dr Kylie Mason

Platelets, the tiny cells vital for blood clotting in humans, may play a role in leukaemia and lymphoma development.

Read More about: Dr Emma Josefsson & Dr Kylie Mason

Dr Steven Lane

A discovery by researchers from the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane could lead to the development of new drugs to improve the viability of stem cell transplants in blood cancer patients.

Read More about: Dr Steven Lane

Dr Ian Majewski

Dr Ian Majewski is identifying genetic changes that allow acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells to resist chemotherapy drugs.

Read More about: Dr Ian Majewski

Dr Stephen Mattarollo

A potential new vaccine to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is under development at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.

Read More about: Dr Stephen Mattarollo

Dr Timothy Mercer

A research team led by Dr Timothy Mercer, from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, is using a new technology to take a closer look at the role of ‘splicing’ in myelodysplasia (MDP) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Read More about: Dr Timothy Mercer

Dr Wendy Parker and Dr David Yeung

Up to a third of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) develop resistance to the front-line treatment, tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), imatinib. It appears that CML cells ‘escape’ destruction from the drug by acquiring single or multiple mutations in the BCRABL1 gene.

Read More about: Dr Wendy Parker and Dr David Yeung

Dr Cedric Tremblay

Dr Cedric Tremblay is investigating possible new treatments for a type of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) which responds poorly to treatment.

Read More about: Dr Cedric Tremblay

Dr Meaghan Wall

Dr Meaghan Wall from St Vincent’s Hospital is leading this research project to develop a prognostic test for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The test will allow clinicians to accurately assess those patients most likely to benefit from treatment with the drug, azacitidine.

Read More about: Dr Meaghan Wall

Dr Jordana McLoone, Dr Claire Wakefield and Associate Professor Richard Cohn

Childhood blood cancer survivors face life-long increased risk of developing health problems following cancer treatment. To help decrease these health risks, a team of researchers from Sydney Children’s Hospital and the University of New South Wales is developing a Survivorship Care Plan (SCP) template.

Read More about: Dr Jordana McLoone, Dr Claire Wakefield and Associate Professor Richard Cohn

Dr Jessica Holien

Dr Jessica Holien is leading a project to develop therapeutics for treating leukaemia. The potential new drugs will target two separate protein-protein interactions, involving Homeobox (HOX) and the 14-3-3 proteins.

Read More about: Dr Jessica Holien

Dr David Bishop

Dr David Bishop is running a Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the safety of a new immune cell-based treatment for blood cancer patients not cured by standard treatments.

Read More about: Dr David Bishop

Dr Chen Hsung Edward Chew

Dr Edward Chew is scanning the DNA of patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) to identify gene variations contributing to patients having relapsed or refractory disease. He is focusing on the ‘good prognosis’ subgroup of AML, which have disruptions to the core binding factor gene.

Read More about: Dr Chen Hsung Edward Chew

Dr Kylee Maclachlan

To help improve the effectiveness of the new blood cancer drug, CX-5461, Dr Kylee Maclachlan is looking at potential drug combinations that will overcome or delay resistance.

Read More about: Dr Kylee Maclachlan

Dr ShuhYing Tan

Researchers from the St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research Stem Cell Regulation Unit are investigating the role of Homeobox (HOX) genes in blood cell development. In particular, the team is interested in the role Homeobox A1 (HOXA1) plays in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and its progression to acute leukaemia.

Read More about: Dr ShuhYing Tan

Mr Donald Cameron

In collaboration with Senhwa Biosciences, the Growth Control Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute in Melbourne has developed a potential new drug for treating blood cancers.

Read More about: Mr Donald Cameron

Miss Lingli Li

Researchers from St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI), Molecular Genetics Unit suspect that overproduction of a protein known as 8-kDa dynein light chain (DYNLL1) could lead to lymphoma.

Read More about: Miss Lingli Li

Ms Katie Lineburg

Following a stem cell transplant, one of most significant risks of illness and death is from chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGvHD).

Read More about: Ms Katie Lineburg

Ms Julienne O’Rourke

The rare and inherited syndrome, Fanconi Anaemia, is the focus of Julienne O’Rourke’s PhD studies.

Read More about: Ms Julienne O’Rourke

Ms Robyn Schenk

Researchers from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research’s Molecular Genetics of Cancer (MGC) Division are investigating the cell death program known as apoptosis.

Read More about: Ms Robyn Schenk