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Commitment to world-leading leukaemia research in Wales

28 March 2019

LRAW Presenting donation

Cardiff University has thanked the Leukaemia Research Appeal for Wales for 37 years of outstanding support, and for contributing more than £2.3 million to leukaemia research at the University over that time.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Karen Holford, hosted a celebration event for the Leukaemia Research Appeal for Wales, to celebrate their dedicated support, which has helped to fund new discoveries in leukaemia research.

At the event, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor thanked Jackie Edwards, Dr Nicola Lewis and Simon Davies, by presenting them with a piece of artwork created by a Cardiff University alumnus.

Leukaemia Research Appeal for Wales relies on volunteers who fundraise and bequests from generous donors who leave far-reaching legacies in their Will.

Their latest gift to the University, £179,504, was received by Dr Neil Rodrigues’ lab in the European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute, which is seeking to better understand gene mutations in the disease.

Progress has been made for patients younger than 60, with an increase in survival to 50% over the last 30 years. However, acute myeloid leukaemia is most prevalent in people over 65, but survival rates remain poor and have not progressed in the last few decades.

Dr Neil Rodrigues said: “We want to look at the genes involved in blood and immune development in order to target them, to give a more effective and less toxic treatment.

“Thanks to the support of Leukaemia Research Appeal for Wales, Leigh-anne Thomas, a PhD student in my lab, is able to research the effects of a mutation called GATA2 on the process of blood formation.

“Once we understand this, our long-term goal is to use this as a platform to screen therapeutic compounds which can then be used in the clinic.

“We’re immensely grateful to Leukaemia Research Appeal for Wales for their part in this vital research.”

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