Peter Mac News


Dr Emily Gruber receives Cure Cancer funding

02 February 2024

Dr Emily Gruber is a promising early career researcher at Peter Mac who has just received funding for her myeloid leukaemia research project from Cure Cancer.

In 2022 Cure Cancer launched a grants program to kick-start the most promising research projects across all cancer types in Australia.

Emily Gruber 1

Dr Gruber’s project aims to improve our understanding of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) so that new targeted therapies can be developed to treat this deadly disease.

Around 1,100 Australians are diagnosed with AML every year. Unfortunately, this type of blood cancer has a five-year survival rate of less than 30 percent and new treatments are desperately needed.

“In this research project I aim to improve patient outcomes by identifying new biological processes that can be targeted during treatment to eliminate AML cells with minimal impact on normal, healthy tissues,” said Dr Gruber.

“To achieve this, I will study the ways in which crucial metabolic pathways undergo rewiring when normal blood cells become cancerous, which drives uncontrolled growth.

“One such metabolic pathway involves heme, a small molecule that is essential to all cells and performs vital biological functions such as oxygen transport and the regulation of gene expression,” she said.

Dr Gruber enjoys AML research because it is like a large complex puzzle to solve and lays the critical foundation for improving outcomes for cancer patients. She leads the ‘Epigenetic targeting of blood cancers’ project with the Lev Kats lab at Peter Mac and is deeply passionate about leukaemia research.