The 2018 ‘Bloody Good Dinner’ raised almost $740,000 for the Snowdome Foundation and Maddie’s Vision to direct towards essential research into blood cancer and bone marrow failure. One of the important projects that the Boards of both organisations sought to fund was a National Career Development Fellowship for a woman in haematology. Women have well documented barriers to successfully attaining career aspirations for senior positions in medical research. This inaugural fellowship was designed to reduce these barriers by offering a long-term commitment to funding, combined with a mentorship program that will be spearheaded by some of Australia’s best medical, research and business executives.
We are delighted to announce the recipient of the Gunn Family National Career Development Fellowship for Women in Haematology to Dr Belinda Guo. Belinda is an early-career researcher in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Western Australia. For the last four years, Belinda has been pursuing her interests in applying cutting-edge molecular and genomic tools to translational cancer research. She hopes that her work will help develop precision medicine and novel methods for earlier cancer detection using blood-based tests.
Belinda’s project “Novel blood biomarkers for predicting bone marrow failure in myeloproliferative neoplasms” will commence in February 2019. Myeloproliferative neoplasms, or MPN, are a group of cancers in which the bone marrow is in overdrive and makes too many blood cells. This can create blood-related problems and, for some patients, can result in the bone marrow becoming scarred, or “burnt out” and eventually fail. Belinda’s aim is to establish a blood-based signature as a clinical indicator and/or predictor for bone marrow scarring and failure in patients with MPN to allow personalised and early intervention.