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Investigating the gene mutations and biological pathways that lead to the development of MPNs

Liesl Butler

Dr Liesl Butler, Australian Centre for Blood Diseases (Melbourne)
Funding period: 2020-2023

Dr Liesl Butler is a junior haematologist pursuing a career in molecular pathology. She is currently undertaking translational research in the area, having recently commenced a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, Alfred Health. Her project will focus on the development of improved biomarkers and targeted therapy for the myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

MPNs are a group of chronic blood cancers characterised by excess production of mature blood cells, a heightened risk of thrombotic complications and increased likelihood of haematological progression to bone marrow fibrosis and/or transformation to acute myeloid leukaemia. Despite current treatments, such manifestations continue to cause significant morbidity and limit life expectancy; new drugs are urgently required.

Dr Butler will investigate the gene mutations and biological pathways that lead to the development of these diseases by undertaking tests in patient samples and mouse models. Her research will improve the ability to detect, treat and predict the course/outcome of MPNs.

PhD scholarships are co-funded by the Leukaemia Foundation and the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand (HSANZ).