Charlotte Downes

Charlotte Downes

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences


I am a PhD student in the Leukaemia Research Group at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) researching high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

My research investigates high-risk subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), an aggressive blood cancer caused by the unregulated proliferation of white blood cells. Patients with fusion genes have been identified using whole genome sequencing and have been found to have an extremely poor prognosis. These fusion genes may be targetable by currently available tyrosine kinase inhibitors. My research aims to characterise a selection of these fusion genes and elucidate mechanisms of resistance that may occur with treatment. I have characterised and generated resistance in an ALL cell line and am currently investigating their mechanisms of resistance. This work has the potential to inform combinational therapeutic strategies and guide future drug design to overcome or avert resistance in this high-risk patient cohort.

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 PhD Student (Molecular & Cellular Biology) South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide
    2017 - 2018 Waitress Stamps Restaurant
    2017 - 2017 Waitress El Carbon South American Bar & Grill
    2013 - 2016 Waitress Maiz and Mezcal Mexian Restaurant
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2018 Scholarship Research Training Program (RTP) stipend University of Adelaide Australia
    2017 Scholarship SAHMRI Summer Vacation Scholarship South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute Australia
    2016 Scholarship SAHMRI Summer Vacation Scholarship South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute Australia
    2016 Award Faculty of Sciences Outstanding Academic Achievement Award Faculty of Sciences, Adelaide University Australia
    2015 Award Faculty of Sciences Outstanding Academic Achievement Award Faculty of Sciences, University of Adelaide Australia
  • Language Competencies

    Language Competency
    English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2018 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia PhD (Molecular & Cellular Biology)
    2017 - 2017 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Honours of Bachelor of Science
    2014 - 2016 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science (Advanced)
  • Certifications

    Date Title Institution name Country
    Theory of Music Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) Australia
    Practice of Music Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) Australia
    Certificate II in Hospitality Quality Training and Hospitality College Australia
    Responsible Person’s Badge Maiz and Mezcal Mexican Restaurant
  • Research Interests

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  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2018 Downes, C., McClure, B., & White, D. L. (2018). Identification of ruxolitinib resistance mutations in Pro-B cells driven by a high-risk B-ALL JAK2-fusion. Poster session presented at the meeting of Childhood Leukaemia and Lymphoma Symposium. Helsinki, Finland.
    2018 Downes, C. E., McClure, B. J., Heatley, S. L., Yeung, D. T., & White, D. L. (2018). Identification of ruxolitinib resistance mutations in Pro-B cells driven by a high-risk B-ALL JAK2-fusion. Poster session presented at the meeting of NDLR.
    2018 Downes, C. E., McClure, B. J., Mayne, B. T., Bruning, J. B., Heatley, S. L., Kok, C., . . . White, D. L. (2018). Identification of ruxolitinib resistance mutations in Pro-B cells driven by a high-risk JAK2 fusion in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Poster session presented at the meeting of ASMR.
    2018 Downes, C. E., McClure, B. J., Mayne, B. T., Bruning, J. B., Heatley, S. L., Kok, C., . . . White, D. L. (2018). Identification and Characterisation of Ruxolitinib Resistant Mutations in JAK2-rearranged B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Poster session presented at the meeting of AGTA.
    2018 Downes, C. E., McClure, B. J., Mayne, B. T., Bruning, J. B., Heatley, S. L., Kok, C., . . . White, D. L. (2018). Identification of mutations that cause ruxolitinib resistance in Pro-B cells driven by a high-risk B-ALL JAK2-fusion.. Poster session presented at the meeting of ANZCHOG.
    2018 Downes, C. E., McClure, B. J., Mayne, B. T., Bruning, J. B., Heatley, S. L., Kok, C., . . . White, D. L. (2018). Identification and computational modelling of ruxolitinib resistant mutations in JAK2-rearranged B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Poster session presented at the meeting of APG Student Awards.
    2018 Downes, C. E., McClure, B. J., Mayne, B. T., Bruning, J. B., Heatley, S. L., Kok, C., . . . White, D. L. (2018). Identification and computational modelling of ruxolitinib resistant mutations in JAK2-rearranged B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Poster session presented at the meeting of SAHMRI Scientific Seminar.
    2018 Downes, C. E., McClure, B. J., Mayne, B. T., Bruning, J. B., Heatley, S. L., Kok, C., . . . White, D. L. (2018). Identification and computational modelling of ruxolitinib resistant mutations in JAK2-rearranged B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Poster session presented at the meeting of EMBL Australia Postgraduate Symposium.
    2017 Downes, C. E., McClure, B. M., Heatley, S. H., Sadras, T. S., Hughes, T. H., Kok, C. K., . . . White, D. W. (2017). Identification and cloning of a novel GOLGA4-JAK2 fusion from an adult patient with B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Poster session presented at the meeting of Poster session presented at the ASMR SA Scientific Meeting. Adelaide.
  • Theses

    Year Citation
    2017 Downes, C. E. (2017). Cloning, Signalling Characterisation and JAK2 Inhibitor-Resistance of Two JAK2 Fusions in High-Risk B-ALL. (Undergraduate Dissertation).
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  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2018 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Australia
    2017 - ongoing Member AusBiotech Australia
    2014 - ongoing Member Adelaide University Sciences Association Australia

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