2018-2020 (co-funded Snowdome/Gunn Family/Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision) The Gunn Family National Fellowship for Career Development in Research – Women in Haematology. Novel blood biomarkers for predicting bone marrow failure in Myeloproliferative neoplasms. Dr Belinda Guo, University of Western Australia.
Belinda is the recipient of the inaugural Gunn Family National Career Development Fellowship for Women in Haematology (co-funded by Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision and Snowdome) and works in the Translational Cancer Pathology Laboratory at the University of Western Australia in Perth.
From a young age, Belinda was always fascinated by how diseases develop and the many ways that scientists and doctors can help overcome the disease. Following her curiosity, she studied protein biochemistry at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch New Zealand before moving to complete a PhD at the University of Melbourne at the Bio21 Institute. There she explored how infectious misfolded proteins that cause prion disease (e.g. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and mad cow disease), exploit our body’s normal functions to help them spread. During her PhD, she attended a dinner which was held to bring patients, researchers and doctors together where she gained a true appreciation of the impact that research can have on the community. When she completed her PhD, she was determined to transition into applied research and was fortunate to have an opportunity to join the translational laboratory at UWA as a Cancer Council WA Postdoctoral Fellow in 2014.
She has since been developing new and improved methods to help earlier detection of blood cancers and disorders using cutting-edge technologies such as next- generation sequencing. She works with a fantastic and integrated team of clinicians, scientists and community representatives. This team is led by Professor Wendy Erber, a haematologist with a career-long interest in blood and bone marrow cancers. Professor Erber has been a strong mentor for Belinda and is a champion for early career researchers and clinicians, and a leader in blood cancer research.
Over the past six years, Belinda’s research has provided new workflows to examine specialised cells in the bone marrow and blood, and she is interested in using these new approaches to improve detection of and understand what causes bone marrow failure. Belinda’s Fellowship project, entitled ‘Novel blood biomarkers for predicting bone marrow failure in myeloproliferative neoplasms’ focusses on myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), a group of bone marrow cancers where the marrow’s ability to produce blood cells is affected. Up to 20% of these patients will unfortunately develop bone marrow failure, as a result of their bone marrow becoming progressively replaced by scar tissue.
Belinda acknowledges a significant challenge faced by bone marrow failure researchers is lack of government funding due to the rarity of the disease and the immense contribution philanthropic organisations provide in order to support the research and discoveries that will lead to new treatments and cures for bone marrow failure. She is incredibly honoured to be a part of the fight against bone marrow failure.
2022-2024 (Fellowship): Dissecting immune dysregulation in acquired bone marrow failure syndromes to identify new therapeutic leads. Dr Rachel Koldej, ACRF Translational Research Laboratory, Melbourne Health.Read more
2023 – 2026 (Fellowship): New Investigator PhD Scholarship, co-funded with the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand. High resolution definition of the mechanisms of poor graft function following allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell ...Read more
2020-2023 (Fellowship): The Alex Gadomski PhD Scholarship in Medical Research, co-funded with the University of Tasmania. Determining genetic and epigenetic drivers of gene expression changes in blood cells. Ariel Simpson, Menzies Institute for ...Read more
2017-2019 (Grant): Part 2 – Prevention and treatment of bone marrow failure in Fanconi anaemia and other inherited disorders. Dr Wayne Crismani, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research. Dr Wayne Crismani from the St ...Read more