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HSANZ Scholarships Fellowships and Awards recipients

15 Nov 2023 2:06 PM | Valerie Orton (Administrator)

Following an excellent Blood meeting in Melbourne last week, we acknowledge all our Scholarship, Fellowship and Award recipients.


Helen Cashman

Helen Cashman completed dual haematology specialist training in 2022 in Sydney and has a strong interest in lymphoma biology and treatments.

Her PhD project at University of Sydney with Cameron Turtle will investigate features of DLBCL tumours that are associated with resistance to CAR-T therapy. She will use advanced technologies to study the structure and functions of components of the tumour to determine why some patients do not achieve durable remissions after CAR-Ts. With greater understanding of the reasons for progression of DLBCL after CAR-T treatment, her research project aims to hasten the development of more effective CAR-T therapies for DLBCL in the future.

Eric Wenlong Li

Eric is an early career haematologist who has completed his haematology specialist training in NSW. His personal experience with a blood cancer, and having benefited from a cure enabled by breakthroughs in genetic cancer research, has led him to pursue a career in haematology. 

Eric’s project at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute will focus on improving our understanding of a recent breakthrough anti-cancer drug venetoclax. Venetoclax is highly effective against numerous blood cancers including Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL). However, despite its ability to allow patients to enjoy longer periods in remission, patients invariably relapse. Current scientific evidence points to sophisticated genetic and epigenetic (cell environment where genes operate) causes of venetoclax resistance. This project will discover these causes using new and advanced techniques that can see genetic and epigenetic changes at a single cell level. 

Damian D’Silva

Damian graduated BSc with Honours from WEHI (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute) / Melbourne University, where he will undertake his PhD studies in the Strasser Lab, within the Blood Cells and Blood Cancer (BCBC) division.

Damian has a keen interest in programmed cell death and associated biological pathways in the context of blood cell derived cancers, as well as the development of novel, targeted anti-cancer therapeutics. The goal of this project is to advance the highly promising MCL-1 inhibitors in clinical trials for cancers like leukaemia – and ultimately – the clinical treatment of patients with blood cancers. 

HSANZ Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation PhD Scholarship

Michael Ashby

Originally from Tasmania, Michael graduated from the University of Tasmania and subsequently completed physician and haematology training in Melbourne. He has a sub-interest in myeloid disorders including AML, MDS, MPN as well as ALL and bone marrow transplant. He is passionate about and aims to complete further work in translational research and development and management of clinical trials.

Michael’s PhD project at Monash University will study methods of preventing acute myeloid leukaemia relapse following allogeneic stem cell transplant. Bone marrow transplantation remains the best chance of cure for patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). Transplantation of cells from a compatible donor works by the new donor immune cells recognising the leukaemia cells as ‘foreign’ and eliminating them. Unfortunately, recurrence (relapse) of the leukaemia occurs within 2 years of transplant in up to one half of all patents and this relapse is usually untreatable.

HSANZ Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand PhD Scholarship 2023 for 2024

Paul Owaci – Malaghan Institute

Paul is a Masters of Clinical Immunology graduate from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, currently working as a research technician at Malaghan Institute of Medical research.

His PhD project at the Malaghan Institute will focus on improving the functionality of CAR T-cell therapies for blood cancers. Uptake of CAR T-cell therapies remains limited due to high cost and logistical constraints, while failure to respond to, or relapse following, CAR T-cell therapies remains a major issue. This project aims to reduce cost and shorten turn-around times, while reducing CAR T-cell exhaustion to enhance long- term response rates.

HSANZ New Investigator Clinical Fellowships 2023 for 2024 with support from Janssen and Novartis

Aditya Tedjaseputra –Adi’s Clinical Fellowship will focus on  molecular and MRD in AML at the Cancer Genetics Laboratory, Guy’s Hospital at King’s College London. He plans to integrate cutting-edge, multi-omics techniques for baseline diagnostics and MRD monitoring into the Australasian context upon his return.

Kenneth Lim – Kenneth’s Clinical Fellowship will focus on determining the prognostic impact of 1q21 gain and amplification (1q21+) in Multiple Myeloma (MM) patients treated with Anti-CD38 antibodies at the Mayo Clinic. 


Ross David, for his work with the Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) research group in the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), who have been world leaders in showing that around half of carefully selected patients with CML can safely stop their chemotherapy treatment and remain in remission long-term.


Jamie Kuzich

Life Members:

Ruth Spearing CNZM

Michael Harvey

 HSANZ Mentorship in Haematology Award

Devinder Gill

HSANZ Leadership in Haematology Award

Phoebe Joy Ho AM

Pitney Fellow 2023-2025

Prof Paula Marlton

Carl De Gruchy medal and oration

Prof Andrew Roberts AM


Best Presentation: Priscilla Gates

First Time Presenters: Catherine Vassili

Best Poster: Tracy King

HSANZ Nurses Travel Grants

Sarah Murray             

Madeline McKeague  

Elise Toyer                 

Kari Mudie                 

Lauren Brennan         

Gisha George 


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Tel: 02 8097 8114

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