Changing the lives of lymphoma & leukaemia patients

Dr Mary Ann Anderson was awarded the Gandel Philanthropy – Snowdome Foundation Innovation Fellowship in 2016.  Since that time, she has become recognised as a world-leading expert through her pioneering work uncovering invaluable information about the novel treatment, venetoclax in the treatment of lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Funded by Gandel Philanthropy, through the Snowdome Foundation, Dr Anderson’s three-year project at the Walter Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, set out to:

  • Identify patients most suited to a novel therapy;
  • Understand the reasons for the development of resistance to this treatment; and
  • to trial new combinations of therapies in patients at high risk of resistance.

Through her research Dr Anderson has been at the forefront of understanding and overcoming resistance to venetoclax.  She has facilitated the approval of venetoclax in combination with ibrutinib for marginal zone lymphoma and mantle cell lymphoma, providing new treatment options for these patients.

Dr Anderson is continuing her research into venetoclax to understand the toxicities and how to overcome resistance.  She is determined to find rational combinations of therapies to optimise patient outcomes.

In essence, Dr Anderson wants to provide better treatments to patients through less toxicity and greater efficacy.  The Gandel Philanthropy – Snowdome Foundation Innovation Fellowship supported her in commencing that journey.

Dr Anderson has published 13 original articles in world leading journals and been recognised for her work through the:

  • 2016 Gandel Philanthropy – Snowdome Foundation Innovation Fellowship.
  • 2018 Royal Melbourne Hospital Women in Research Scholarship.
  • 2019 Victorian Premier’s Health and Medical Research Award Winner – Clinician Researcher Category.
  • 2020 Jock Brockhof Foundation Scholarship.
  • 2020 NHMRC EL1 Investigator Grant.