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Australia’s brightest blood cancer minds

You’re enabling the work of some of our country’s brightest early-career researchers and clinicians, through the Leukaemia Foundation and Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand’s PhD scholarships program.

The Leukaemia Foundation has proudly been supporting blood cancer research for over 20 years, contributing $57.8m over this time.

Meet the PhD scholarship recipients

By supporting these talented up-and-coming researchers, you’re laying a strong foundation for a future where blood cancer no longer wrecks lives.

Dr Sun Loo – Preventing relapse

Researcher Dr Sun Loo
Dr Sun Loo

Dr Loo is undertaking research into acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), giving new hope to families impacted by this blood cancer.

Many people who are treated for AML sadly end up relapsing. Dr Loo’s exciting research aims to identify and treat people who appear to be on the verge of relapsing, by looking for small amounts of leukaemia cells that remain after treatment, called minimal residual disease (MRD).

It’s hoped treating these people even earlier will reduce their chances of relapsing.

“Ultimately, the goal is to prolong remission with the hope of improving long-term outcomes,” says Dr Loo.

You may have heard of T-cells; they’re cells that usually protect us from infection and defend against cancer. Unfortunately, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a type of blood cancer that involves T-cells developing abnormalities and attacking a person’s own skin.

CTCL is a poorly understood and difficult to treat blood cancer. But thanks to your contribution, Dr Elliott is firmly focused on changing that.

Her research hopes to shed light on CTCL to better understand the biology of the disease and to improve and optimise therapies to treat CTCL. Thank you for helping fund her research.

“I consider myself very lucky and very grateful to have been funded by the Leukaemia Foundation. There’s lots of potential to improve outcomes for patients,” says Dr Elliott.

Dr Jessica Elliott – Improving outcomes

Dr Jessica Elliott in the lab, holding some test tubes
Dr Jessica Elliott

The difference you’re making

For AML survivor Cathy Koning, research like Dr Loo’s is so important.

“A difficult aspect of AML treatment is enduring gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, only to be told that some elusive leukaemic cells have survived, with more chemo, drugs, biopsies or a stem cell transplant to be faced in the future.

I commend Dr Loo’s trial which will make an important contribution to our understanding of MRD and why these cells are so persistent.”

Blood cancer survivor Cathy Konig
Blood cancer survivor Cathy Koning

Learn more about our research

We may have leukaemia in our name, but we fund research across all the major types of blood cancer. Read more about the 2023 PhD scholarship recipients here.


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