Discovering new treatment options for drug resistant myelodysplasia and leukaemia

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PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and low-blast acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) are blood cancers that are particularly prevalent in the elderly. Frontline treatment is Azacitidine (AZA), a DNA demethylating agent that is effective in less than half. Treatment options for patients who fail AZA are limited. The supervisory team has identified vulnerabilities in AZA resistant MDS/AML leukemic stem/progenitor cells and are establishing mouse xenografts using AZA resistant patient samples from a clinical trial. The applicant will evaluate drug combinations and demonstrate safety and efficacy in vivo to lay the groundwork for a prospective clinical trial to treat AZA resistant MDS/AML.

IDEAL CANDIDATE

This project requires a mature candidate with an outstanding academic track record, prior laboratory experience, high degree of motivation and energy. Excellent team-work and communication skills are a pre-requisite. The ideal candidate will have as their personal mission, a long-term vision to make a difference in cancer therapeutics. The candidate will have a high degree of theoretical and practical knowledge in molecular biology and an in-depth understanding of oncogenic processes. Knowledge of the haematopoietic system and leukemia in particular would be a significant advantage. Prior experience in mouse xenograft models is not essential but the project will require extensive mouse handling and demonstrable experience in this regard will be important to succeed.
Supervisory team
John
Pimanda

Medicine
Medical Sciences
Richard
Lock

Medicine
Women's & Children's Health
Chris
Jolly

Medicine
Medical Sciences
jpimanda@unsw.edu.au