About the lab

My lab’s research focuses on blood cancers – leukaemias, lymphomas and myeloma. My research aims to understand these diseases and to develop new treatments for them.

As well as leading a research laboratory, I jointly lead WEHI’s Cancer Research and Treatments theme. I am also a clinical haematologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Our mission

Currently there are some blood cancers for which our treatments are very inadequate, and people who suffer from these leukaemias, lymphomas and myelomas urgently need new breakthrough therapies.

Our goal is to discover new vulnerabilities in these blood cancers so we can work out how to exploit these “Achilles Heels” to make major advances. We seek to understand what makes blood cancers tick, in order to shut them down, first in the lab, then in clinical trials and then hopefully as regular treatment.


  • Defined the physiological functions of intracellular signaling proteins, RAC2 and SOCS3
  • Defined the potential of the first BH3-mimetic (ABT-737) to induce apoptosis in specific blood cancers and blood cells
  • Defined the potential of a BCL2-specific BH3 mimetic ABT-199 (venetoclax), to kill CLL cells while sparing platelets
  • Proved the mechanism-of-action of venetoclax in patients, and its independence from TP53
  • Defined the clinical safety and efficacy of venetoclax alone and in combination with monoclonal antibodies, BTK inhibitors, or chemotherapy in clinical trials
  • Defined heterogenous mechanisms-of-resistance to venetoclax in patients
  • Identified the potential for MCL1 selective inhibitors to kill specific blood cancer cells

Lab research projects

Lab team

My team is passionate about making a difference, so their work is team-based and outcome-focussed. We work in close partnership with David Huang’s lab, with several key co-appointments. We also collaborate with colleagues in the Blood Cells and Blood Cancers division and across WEHI and with clinical partners in The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

8 members
Kimvan Le
EA to Metcalf Chair & Theme Coordinator
Senior Clinical Research Officer
Dr Yin Yuan
PhD Student
Tom Lew
PhD Student
Prof David Ritchie
Honorary Research Associate
Dr Di Hanna
Honorary Research Associate
Angela Georgiou
Research Assistant
Interested in supporting our research?

Your support will help WEHI’s researchers make discoveries and find treatments to ensure healthier, longer lives for you and your loved ones.

Contact our friendly team to find out how you can help.