Hannah Wardill

Dr Hannah Wardill

NHMRC CJ Martin Biomedical Research Fellow

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Wardill's research broadly investigates gastrointestinal dysfunction and disease. Her main interest is precision cancer medicine and the potential to exploit host-microbe interactions to improve the outcomes of cancer treatment.

Dr Wardill completed her PhD in 2016, receiving a Dean's Commendation and the University Medal for Doctoral Research Excellence. In 2016/17, Hannah completed her first postdoctoral position in the Gastrointestinal Neuroimmune Interactions Laboratory at SAHMRI before commencing her NHMRC CJ Martin Biomedical Research Fellowship in 2018 investigating microbial phenotypes as predictors of treatment response in paediatric leukaemia (The University of Groningen, The Netherlands).

Overview: Dr Wardill completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide, under the guidance of A/Prof Joanne Bowen, Prof Rachel Gibson and Prof Richard Logan, completing her doctoral thesis in 2016. During her PhD she developed and validated the first TLR4 knockout mouse model of irinotecan induced mucositis, and in doing so, clearly demonstrated the impact of innate immune signaling and microbial dysbiosis on mucosal barrier injury and clinical toxicity. She was subsequently recognised for her contribution to the field of supportive oncology, named the 2016 MASCC Young Investigator of the Year and awarded the University Medal for Doctoral Research Excellence. After a short postdoctoral position at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Hannah established a highly interdisciplinary research team within Adelaide, aiming to establish an autologous faecal transplantation service for people with blood cancer. This project has received funding support from two major hospitals across South Australia and has lead to numerous international collaborations across the Netherlands, Germany and the US. Hannah is now based in the Netherlands where she is developing a predictive algorithm of treatment outcomes in childhood cancer. In addition to this work, Hannah has lead numerous preclinical trials in collaboration with clinical and industry partners investigating various anti-mucositis agents. In 2020, Hannah plans to return to Adelaide where she will establish her own oncogastroenterology research group dedicated to enhancing the outcomes of cancer therapy via personalised modulation of host-microbe interactions.

International standing: Hannah has been a member of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer and the Mucositis Research Group from 2013-present. She has presented at 7 consecutive meetings, with her work highlighted by plenary speakers. In 2017, Hannah was invited to act as section co-head for the update of the clinical practice guidelines for mucositis management and risk prediction. This involves leading a group of international scientists and clinicians to conduct a through review of the literature and the preparation of clinical practice guidelines. Hannah also acts as the Chair of the Mucositis Study Group Social Media Committee and a member of the Information and Communication committee. In line with her leadership roles within this organisation, Hannah is also recognised as a key trailblazer in her field, with her opinion sought on various topics relating to supportive oncology, microbiology and faecal transplantation. 

Community engagement: Hannah has a strong commitment to engaging the general community with scientific discovery. She has received significant media training through outlets such as Fresh Science and Thinkwell, which enable her to effectively communicate complex scientific research with lay audiences of many ages. This has been demonstrated through her involvement with Science Alive, an interactive event for children held yearly, and her volunteer work with Lynch Syndrome Australia. Hannah also founded and maintains a blog pooisnottaboo.com which aims to provide scientifically accurate, yet exciting content about the advances in our understanding of the gut microbiome. Hannah has a genuine interest in engaging and exciting people about science and the potential power that can be exploited from our own poo! 

Contribution to field of research: Dr Wardill has an impressive publication track record for someone of her career stage, with >35 peer-reviewed research publications in top-tier oncology (e.g. Molecular Cancer Therapeutics) and gastroenterology journals (e.g. Gut). These publication include invited reviews, opinion pieces, mechanistic hypotheses and primary research (preclinical and clinical). Hannah has also been invited to contribute to publicly available platforms such as eHospice, The Conversation and Future Oncology, as well as being invited to contribute to a book chapter. 

Active projects for prospective collaborators and students: 

Project 1

Title: Establshing a faecal microbiome transplantation protocol for the prevention of GvHD in allo-SCT recipients. 

Description: Graft versus host disease (GvHD) is the largest cause of treatment-related mortality in people with blood cancer. Damage to the intestinal barrier and associated disruption of the microbiome are key risk factors for GvHD severity and associated mortality. This project involves 1) a pilot study to assess the feasibility of delivering autologous faecal microbiome translation to stem cell transplantation recipients, and 2) development of a preclinical murine model of GvHD to evaluate autologous and donor faecal transplant efficacy. 

Location: Adelaide Medical School / Royal Adelaide Hospital. 

Project 2

Title: Personalised risk evaluation during cancer therapy (PREDiCT) 

Description: The outcomes of cancer therapy are highly heterogenous, with little understanding of the targetable factors that determine both efficacy and toxicity outcomes. This project aims to develop a comprehensive risk evaluation tool to predict an individual's response to treatment based on their own unique microbial composition, immune function, genetics and demographic variables (diet, medication, age, sex, etc). We recruit patients undergoing systemic anticancer therapy, for any cancer diagnosis, across three major sites across South Australia.

Location: Adelaide Medical School.

Project 3

Title: PAED-PREDiCT 

Description: Children receiving chemotherapy for cancer are at an extremely high risk developing unwanted side effects from their treatment. Like adults, it is unclear what factors drive a child's susceptibility to toxicity. The paed-PREDiCT study aims to develop a paediatric biobank to determine host-microbe interactions central to toxicity outcomes in paediatric cancers. In the long-term, we also aim to prospectively follow these patients to identify microbial factors that predispose to chronic health implications in survivors of childhood cancer. 

Location: Adelaide Medical School.

Special considerations: This project is in collaboration with the Princess Maxima Children's Hospital in the Netherlands.     

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 NHMRC CJ Martin Biomedical Research Fellow The University of Adelaide and The University of Groningen
    2017 UniSA Online Tutor The University of South Australia
    2016 - 2017 Postdoctoral Researcher South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2019 Award Women's Research Excellence Award Winner The University of Adelaide Australia 5000
    2018 Award Qiagen International Microbiome Award Winner 2019 Qiagen Germany 79,116 USD
    2018 Award Future Science Group ECR Award Future Science Group United Kingdom
    2018 Award L'Oreal Women in Science (Finalist) L'Oreal Australia
    2017 Award SAHMRI Early Career Research Prize
    2017 Award SAHMRI Shark Tank Prize
    2017 Award South Australia Science Excellence Awards (PhD Excellence) Finalist South Australian Department of Industry and Skills Australia
    2017 Award SA Science Excellence Awards Finalist (PhD Excellence)
    2017 Award You Can Innovate Award Finalist
    2017 Award University Medal for Doctoral Research Excellence University of Adelaide Australia
    2016 Award Dean's Commendation for Research Thesis Excellence
    2016 Award Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology ‘Best Oral Presentation’
    2016 Award MASCC/ISOO Young Investigator of the Year
    2016 Award Channel 9 Young Achiever Award; Science and Technology
    2016 Award Fresh Science SA Winner
    2015 Award Australian Society for Medical Research Campion-Ma-Playoust Memorial Award
    2015 Award Florey Medical Research Foundation Prize; Best Poster
    2015 Achievement Channel 9 Young Achiever Award; Science and Technology Runner Up
    2015 Scholarship Florey Medical Research Foundation Doctor Chun Chung and Madam So Sau Lam Memorial Postgraduate Award
    2014 Award Florey Medical Research Foundation Prize; Best Poster
    2014 Achievement Channel 9 Young Achiever Award; Science and Technology Finalist
    2013 Scholarship Australian Postgraduate Award
    2012 Award Highest Honours Grade; School of Medicine
    2012 Award Bachelor of Health Sciences, Executive Dean's Certificate of Merit
    2012 Award Best Honours Poster Presentation
    2012 Recognition Mace Bearer
    2011 Award Highest Aggregate Grade in Major: Physiology (School of Medicine)
    2011 Award Highest Aggregate Grade in Major: Anatomical Sciences (School of Medicine)
    2011 Award Highest Aggregate Grade in Major: Reproductive Biology (School of Medicine)
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2013 - 2016 University of Adelaide Australia PhD, Medicine
    2012 - 2012 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)
    2009 - 2011 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Sciences
  • Research Interests

Research Funding

Year

Title/Source

Investigators

Amount

2018

Qiagen Microbiome Awards

Wardill HR

79,116 USD

2018

The University of Adelaide, Women’s Research Excellence Award

Wardill HR

$5,000

2018

The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Infrastructure Grant (EVOS Live Cell Imager)

Bowen JM, Wardill HR, Hughes PA, Worthley D, Woods S, Nassar Z, Yool A, Pei VJ, Zannettino Z.

$90,816

2018

The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Infrastructure Grant (Anaerobic Chamber)

Young R, Lynn D, Costello SP, Heilbron L, Wardill HR, Bowen JM, Hughes PA, Andrews J, Page A.

$43,195

2018

NHMRC CJ Martin Biomedical Research Early Career Fellowship

Wardill HR

$412,952

2018

Royal Adelaide Hospital Clinical Project Grant: "A pilot study to assess the safety and efficacy of autologous faecal microbiota transplantation (aFMT) to improve treatment outcomes of blood cancer”

Wardill HR, Bowen JM, Keefe DM, Costello SP, Andrews JM, Hahn U.

$43,092

(+$30,000 co-funding)

2018

The Hospital Research Foundation Grant: “Establishing an autologous stool bank for the longitudinal analysis of faecal microbiome throughout cancer therapy and restoration of microbiome following conditioning chemotherapy”

Wardill HR, Bowen JM, Keefe DM, Costello SP.

$50,000

2017

The University of Adelaide FHMS ECR Project Development Mentorship Grant: "Development of an intestinal organoid model for the study of host-microbe interactions and their impact on chemo-efficacy and toxicity"

Wardill HR, Worthley D

$15,000

2017

The University of Adelaide FHMS Project Development Grant: "Targeting Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) to Improve Colorectal Cancer Treatment Outcomes"

Bowen JM, Wardill HR

$24,293

2017

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) ON Prime Program: "Development of in-home faecal test for the detection of Clostridium difficile in people undergoing chemotherapy"

Wardill HR, Bowen JM

$3,600

2017

The University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Infrastructure Grant (Human Ussing Chamber)

Hughes P, Young R, Page A, Linz D, Wardill HR

$41,600 (+$30,000 co-funding)

2015 -16

Florey Medical Research Foundation: "Developing an in vitro model to determine efficient methods of TLR4 deletion"

Wardill HR

$10,000

2014 -15

Australian Dental Research Foundation: "Chemotherapy-induced alimentary mucositis: do tight junction disruptions translate from the gut to the oral cavity?"

Wardill HR, Logan RM, Gibson RJ

$5,200

Travel Funding

 

Year

Source

Amount

2019

University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Travel Award

$3,000

2018

University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Travel Award

$1,000

2017

Australian Federation for University Women SA Inc. Postgraduate Travel Award

$4,600

2017

University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Travel Award

$3,000

2016

University of Adelaide, School of Medicine; HDR Travel Award

$3,000

2015

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) Beat Cancer Initiative

$2,500

2014

University of Adelaide, School of Medicine; HDR Travel Award

$1,250

 

Scholarships

 

Year

Source

Amount

2015

Florey Medical Research Foundation Doctor Chun Chung Wong and Madam So Sau Lam Memorial Postgraduate Cancer Research Top Up Scholarship

$7,000

2013-16

Australian Postgraduate Award 

$77,54

Undergraduate Teaching 

Throughout my postgraduate training and postdoctoral research, I have been actively involved in the teaching, supervision and mentoring of undergraduate and honours students. I have delivered lecture modules on Mucositis, gastrointestinal physiology and the oral cavity, have been intimately involved in the re-work of Human Biology 1A/B, been appointed as a MBBS case-based learning tutor, and am a member of the Indigenous Tutor Assistance Scheme. To date, I have been involved in the following courses (in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences) as a tutor or project supervisor: Human Biology I, Essentials of Pathology III, Cellular and Systems Neurobiology III, Cells Tissues and Development II, Biology of Disease II, Investigative Cell Biology III, Comparative Reproductive Biology of Mammals III, Comparative Neuroanatomy III, Structural Cell Biology III. 

My teaching has also been complimented by attendance of the 'BEST' Program: Becoming an Effective Supervisor and Teacher, a one-day Learning and Teaching course for Sessional Teachers, Tutors and Academic Staff of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. 

Online Education 

In 2015, I was invited to take part in the production, editing and delivery of the University's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), delivered through EdX and organised by Prof Mario Ricci. In its first year, there were over 5000 students enrolled. I helped with the production of interactive elements of the course, as well as reviewing the course content. I am now involved in moderation of the discussion board. In line with these roles, I also produced a literature review on current e-Assessment strategies that have been implemented in medical/health related tertiary education. This has been identified as a key area for growth by the Vice Chancellor and will be reviewed by the board for e-Assessment within the University of Adelaide. In 2018, I have also been appointed as a UniSA Online Educator (Health Sciences Course) as part of their new UniSA Online Initiative which aims to provide an entire course online, thus targeting a new student demographic. 

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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Co-Supervisor The Role of TLR4 in Response to Chemotherapy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Elise Ellen Bruning
    2019 Co-Supervisor The microbiome-gut-brain axis in chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Courtney Brooke Subramaniam
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  • Board Memberships

    Date Role Board name Institution name Country
    2018 - ongoing Member Information and Communication Committee Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer Australia
    2017 - ongoing Co-Chair Social Media Working Group The Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer
    2016 - ongoing Co-Chair Mucositis Study Group - Guideline Developemnt Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer Australia
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2018 - ongoing Member Information and Communication Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer United States
    2017 - ongoing Chair Social Media Engagement (Mucositis Study Group) Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer United States
    2017 - ongoing Co-Chair Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer: Update of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Mucositis (Risk Prediction)
    2016 - ongoing Member Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer; Mucositis Study Group
    2016 - ongoing Member Future Leaders Group
    2016 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Medical Research
    2013 - ongoing Representative School of Medicine Board
    2013 - ongoing Representative School of Medicine HDR Committee
    2013 - 2016 Member Health Sciences Postgraduate Association (HESPA)
    2012 - ongoing Member Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer
    2012 - ongoing Member Golden Key International Honour Society
  • Position: NHMRC CJ Martin Biomedical Research Fellow
  • Email: hannah.wardill@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: SAHMRI, floor 7 South
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Medical School

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