In focus: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

In focus: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Learn more about the institutes we support through our In Focus series.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research is one of Australia’s leading biomedical research organisations, with a strong national and international reputation for performing highly influential basic and translational research.

The Institute’s main laboratories are located in the Parkville precinct, a vibrant and collaborative life science research, education and healthcare hub in Melbourne, Victoria.
With more than 1,100 staff and students, the Institute is addressing some of the major health challenges of our time, with a focus on cancer, infection, inflammation, immune disorders, development and ageing. More than 120 national and international clinical trials are currently underway based on research undertaken at the Institute.
Specifically, more than 250 Institute researchers are working to improve long-term outcomes for people with cancer. From cell biology to drug discovery and research in the clinic, Institute scientists are working to develop new ways to detect, diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.

Meet a scientist we’ve funded at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Dr Diane Hanna
Dr Hanna is a paediatric oncologist with a specialist interest in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Her research is focused on overcoming resistance to treatment in high-risk ALL, one of the top three leading causes of cancer death in adolescents and young adults. 
Dr Hanna is investigating a new class of drugs called BH3 mimetics that can cause cancer cells to die. Different members of this new treatment family will be tested alone or in combination with other drugs to identify combinations that show the greatest effect on killing cancer cells. Funding via The Kids’ Cancer Project fellowship will allow testing to be conducted in a laboratory setting with the aim of identifying combinations that can then be tested in the clinic. Ultimately, Dr Hanna hopes to improve the cure rates of ALL in young adults and adolescents.  

Read more: Overcoming therapeutic resistance in high risk ALL using novel BH3 mimetic


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