BCI at the 58th ASH Annual Meeting

Zoe Leech Posted in Conferences 06 January 2017

The December 2016 American Society of Hematology meeting was held in San Diego, California. Our Centre for Haemato-Oncology researchers travelled to the convention centre and, delivered several excellent presentations that received many well-deserved prizes.


Professor Jude Fitzgibbon presented in the Scientific Program: ‘’Emerging Biology Leading to New Therapies in Follicular Lymphoma (FL)’’ about the genomic discovery, prognosis and target therapy development in FL.

He also spoke at the ‘’Meet the Scientist’’ session on FL genetics and chaired a CEBPA session at the Friday Scientific Workshop on Inherited Hematopoietic Malignancies. Our Emeritus Professor Andrew Lister also led an educational session on Hodgkin Lymphoma.


Prof Fitzgibbon and Dr Casado present their talks


Dr Pedro Casado, a postdoctoral researcher in Dr Pedro Cutillas’s group, gave a fantastic talk on his work in AML for which he received an ASH Abstract Achievement Award.The presentation was titled: ‘’Differentiation Status Revealed By Shotgun Phosphoproteomics Determines Sensitivity of Primary AML Cells to Kinase Inhibitors’’.

Dr Jennifer Edelmann, a Clinical Research Fellow in Centre Lead Professor John Gribben’s group, delivered an oral presentation in the CLL session for which she also received an ASH Abstract Achievement Award for this outstanding work. Her talk was titled: ‘’c.7541_7542delCT mutant NOTCH1 maintains transcription factor activity with longer lasting effects’’.


Dr Jennifer Edelmann giving her talk on Notch signalling in chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia


Dr Ana Rio-Machin (pictured right), a postdoctoral researcher working in Prof Fitzgibbon’s group, presented her work in the poster session “Disordered Gene Expression in Hematologic Malignancy, including Disordered Epigenetic Regulation” and she was awarded the ASH young scientist Abstract Achievement Award. Her poster was titled: “HDAC Inhibitors As Novel Targeted Therapies for NUP98-HOXA9 AML Patients”.

rio-machinposterAna has characterized the cancer-causing (oncogenic) mechanisms underlying the chromosomal translocation t(7;11)(q15;q15), a recurring event in cells’ genetic material that causes a very aggressive form of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. She proposed new therapeutic strategies for this group of patients.

You can also see her in the recent Newsbeat video in which BBC Radio1 visited our labs for their #1millionhours campaign.

Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer Rebecca Auer (below) also gave an accessible and informative presentation on the results of a clinical trial for which she was Chief Investigator, giving valuable insight to patients.

Emma Vilventhraraja, a PhD student in Dr Andrejs Ivanov’s group, presented her poster in Lymphoma biology titled: “Reduction of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Leads to Enhancement of Type-II CD20-Antibody Cytotoxicity in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma’’.

Emma is also very active in our local and university-wide student groups, and is funded by our Barry Reed Studentship programme.

Ahad Al Seraihi, a PhD student in Prof. Fitzgibbon’s group, presented her findings on “variable penetrance in GATA2 deficiencyat the Friday Scientific Workshop on Inherited Hematopoietic malignancies.


Ahad Al Seraihi presents her work on GATA2 deficiency in familial leukaemias


Her work explored the molecular mechanisms behind the clinical variation in a GATA2-mutated pedigree and showed this to be linked with monoallelic GATA2 expression as a result of allele-specific changes in chromatin deposition in the symptomatic compared with asymptomatic mutation carriers in the family. These results were also presented in a poster session and received an ASH Abstract Achievement Award.

Many congratulations to all of our scientists who attended the meeting, presented their work and received such an impressive number of awards - this reflects both the high quality and diversity of research in our Centre.

With thanks to John Gribben, Jude Fitzgibbon, Ahad Al Seraihi and all who provided images.

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