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About the lab

Our laboratory is focussed on identifying more effective therapies to treat patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

AML is a rapidly lethal blood cancer that is fatal within weeks if left untreated. Our laboratory team has established a range of pre-clinical models to study new therapies and combinations for translation into the clinic. We have multiple collaborations with industry partners and much of our work is linked to clinical trials led by clinician research members of the team. A major focus of our laboratory is to target pro-survival pathways in AML and to find more effective strategies to overcome TP53 mutant disease.

Our mission

Our mission is to develop clinical trials that will deliver more effective therapies to patients with AML through discovery, innovation and translation.

Impact

Our team has guided pre-clinical and clinical research resulting in regulatory approval of new drugs including oral azacitidine as maintenance therapy in AML (NEJM 2020) and venetoclax (JCO 2019 and Blood 2020). We designed pre-clinical studies that supported the first clinical trial combining venetoclax with intensive chemotherapy (Leukemia 2018 and J of Clin Oncol 2020). This study paved the way for venetoclax to be tested in younger patients by groups around the world.

Our lab conducted biomarkers studies guiding use of venetoclax in AML using patient samples from clinical trials (Blood 2020) in collaboration with MD Anderson, Roberts and Majewski from WEHI and identified the importance of TP53 mutation in venetoclax failure (Blood 2021) in collaboration with Huang, Kelly and Roberts lat WEHI and the role of BAX variants in venetoclax resistance (Blood 2022) in collaboration with the Huang, Roberts and Adams. We pioneered the combination of BH3-mimetics to target both BCL-2 and MCL1 (Leukemia 2019) in collaboration with Lessene and Servier. This work led to a first in human trial (NCT03672695).

Lab research projects

Lab team

14 members
Edwina Jap
Research Assistant
Michelle Jahja
PhD Student
Visiting PhD Student
Dr Sun Loo
Visiting PhD Student
Dr Vajiranee Malalasekera
PhD Student
Thomas Morley
Research Assistant
Dr Chyn Chua
Clinical Research Fellow
Giovanna Pomilio
Research Assistant
Senior Research Officer
Veronique Litalien
Research Assistant
Dr Donia Moujalled
Senior Research Officer
Senior Research Officer
Research Officer
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.