Dr Miguel Ganuza, Queen Mary University of London and John Goldman Fellow 2020

This research will provide a better understanding of the premalignant stages of leukaemia and new means to prevent and block their progression into more advanced leukaemia

What is this research looking at?

Blood stem cells (BSC) produce all red and white blood cells. Our BSCs can progressively acquire mutations which can make them divide more or die less frequently than they should. Mutated BSCs can accumulate in the bone marrow and blood without initially producing any sign of disease. This accumulation can result in many blood cells deriving from one single mutated BSC.  This is known as clonal haematopoiesis (CH). CH is very common in the elderly and can also present in young individuals. Regardless of age, CH carriers have a much greater risk of developing blood cancer (11-times higher) and heart disease (three-fold higher). Not much is known about the exact mechanisms which drive CH. So, it is important to investigate these processes to prevent CH from causing major health issues including leukaemia and heart disease. This research proposal will investigate molecular mechanisms that can lead to CH and will study how particular mutations provide an advantage to mutated BSCs.

Official project title

Deconvoluting novel pathways leading to clonal haematopoiesis

About Dr Ganuza

Dr Ganuza has been involved in haematology research over the last 8 years and is based at Queen Mary University of London.

Dr Ganuza has been interested in cancer research since his childhood and his major aspiration is to contribute to the discovery of new treatments to prevent the development of different types of leukaemia.

When I was still a kid, cancer was explained to me and how in those years, there was not much that could be done to help many patients. For me this was a major shock. So, I very early decided that I should be involved in cancer research in one way or another. As I grew up, I unfortunately witnessed cancer impacting people around me.

As a brand-new principal investigator, Dr Ganuza believes funding by Leukaemia UK is instrumental to establish his research program in leukaemic stem cell biology and launch his independent career. Moreover, he trusts it will give him a springboard to facilitate his ambition of having an impact in leukaemia prevention and treatment and becoming an international leader in the field.

We are able to fund vital research such a Dr. Ganuza's project only thanks to the generosity of our supporters. 

With 27 people newly diagnosed with leukaemia every day in the UK, we strive to find better treatments and care to make a difference to those affected by blood cancers.

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