George & Yolanda Klempfner Fellowship

The Snowdome Foundation is delighted to announce the George and Yolanda Klempfner Fellowship to support the Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory led by A/Prof. Mark Dawson. The Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory researchers are studying the role of epigenetic regulators in normal and malignant haematopoiesis. These insights are then used to identify novel therapies for the treatment of blood cancers.

Specifically, the George and Yolanda Klempfner Fellow will be concentrating on BET inhibitors, an innovative and novel class of epigenetic therapy that disrupts the ability of epigenetic reader proteins such as BRD4 to recognise and bind specific histone modifications on the nucleosome. Importantly, these innovative cancer drugs have entered early phase clinical trials for patients with haematological cancers. “We are at a very exciting juncture in cancer research where it is now possible to specifically target epigenetic proteins and reset the imbalances that initiate and drive certain cancers,” said A/Prof. Dawson.

Dr. George Klempfner and Mrs. Yolanda Klempfner AO were interested in making a significant contribution to blood cancer research after many family and friends had experienced blood cancer. Also, Yolanda served as Director of the General Sir John Monash Foundation. During her Directorship, in 2006, Mark Dawson was awarded the prestigious General Sir John Monash Fellowship to complete his PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Early in 2014, the Klempfners re-connected with Mark Dawson and received an update on Mark’s impressive research. After contacting the Snowdome Foundation, the Klempfners were delighted with the opportunity to directly accelerate this urgent research.


Through the Snowdome Foundation, the Klempfners are funding the George and Yolanda Klempfner Fellowship, commencing 5 February 2015 for two years.