Bone marrow transplantation to treat blood cancers cures many patients but carries risks of infection, cancer recurrence and graft vs host disease. Cell therapy – using living cells as a treatment rather than drugs – has the potential to transform bone marrow transplantation and cure many types of blood cancer.

Our research is improving the process of bone marrow transplantation by both simplifying treatment and curing patients. We are well known for developing and testing cell therapies to fight infections after transplant and are about to commence trials that will use cells engineered to directly target blood cancers.

Our research is highly translational, with many of our scientists working as clinicians in Westmead Hospital’s large bone marrow transplant unit and clinical cell therapies service. Preclinical work at the Westmead Institute is translated into new therapies that bring direct benefits to patients at Westmead Hospital.

Research directions

  • Fighting infection: We have introduced specific T cell therapies for a wide variety of infections
  • Boosting immunity: We have conducted a series of clinical trials to enhance immune reconstitution in the context of stem cell transplantation from normal donors
  • Treating blood cancer: We are commencing trials of chimeric antigen receptor bearing T cells and leukaemia specific T cells for patients with blood cancer.