Laura Eadie

Laura Eadie

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


Dr Laura Eadie is a mid-career researcher having completed her PhD in Medicine in 2013 with a Dean’s Commendation. Laura’s research has always centred on translating laboratory findings to improve patient outcomes. She has spent ten years researching modes of resistance to chronic myeloid leukaemia drugs with her efforts resulting in nine first-author publications and presentations at over 25 national and international meetings. She is the tenth recipient of the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship and her research now focuses on high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). She is a passionate science communicator and advocate for women in STEM careers. Laura was a 2016 Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow and was recently invited to take part in the first TEDx-Fulbright Adelaide event (2019).

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) is an extremely heterogeneous disease with subtypes of patients exhibiting a diverse range of genetic mutations. Certain subtypes of ALL can be treated with drugs already in clinical use. Laura undertook her Fulbright fellowship (2016-2017) at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee where she learned mouse models of high-risk ALL. Laura is now leading in vivo mouse studies for high-risk ALL with a specific focus on T-cell ALL. Laura’s research seeks to pave the way for alternative T-ALL therapies that are more effective and have fewer long-term side effects. She is using cutting edge laboratory models to evaluate precision medicine treatment strategies tailored to individual patients. Her current funding will help her and her team create a repository of cells, enabling experimentation and evaluation of the success of different T-ALL targeted therapies.

Long term, Laura aims to provide clinicians with a suite of new and re-purposed FDA-approved drugs, which will be able to effectively treat the different genetic lesions associated with T-ALL.

T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (T-ALL) is a genomically complex, high-risk disease affecting both children and adults. Novel, targeted treatments are urgently required to prevent drug resistance and relapse. T-ALL is characterised by recurrent gene fusions and concomitant structural abnormalities. Ongoing advances in next generation sequencing (NGS) have enabled classification of a diverse range of genomic alterations resulting in new T-ALL subtypes. Critically, the wealth of genomic information available has identified new and recurrent genomic lesions but their biological and clinical implications remain unclear. Incorporating the knowledge gained through NGS into clinical care presents a major challenge.

Currently, up to 30% of paediatric/adolescent T-ALL patients relapse with subsequent poor overall survival; the outcome is worse for adult patients with long-term survival rates after relapse below 10%. The over-arching focus of my studies is the generation of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) and transgenic mouse models of T-ALL from patient samples received in the laboratory. These models will be used to (1) examine re-purposing drugs and testing novel therapies; and (2) provide therapeutic options for pre-emptive intervention in the case of therapy-resistant disease. Central nervous system (CNS) involvement is common in relapsed ALL but drivers of this aggressive disease are poorly defined. This project will use imaging studies to track specific disease subtypes demonstrating CNS penetration.

Research Project 1 - Dr Laura Eadie

Title: Evaluation of leukaemic invasion and penetrance in mouse models of ALL.

Project description:

Our laboratory is the National Referral Centre for genomic screening of ALL cases allowing identification of genomic alterations in a large number of patients. Establishment of PDX models from these patient samples is ongoing. Recent PDXs have resulted in leukaemic engraftment within the brain, indicative of CNS involvement and suggesting an aggressive disease. CNS penetration in ALL is a significant un-met clinical need, however, the pathogenesis of CNS disease, the underlying genomic determinants and the biology driving CNS penetration remain poorly understood and targeted therapies are limited.

Additional PDX models resulted in rapid detection of leukaemic cells within the blood, but not the bone marrow or brain, highlight the complexity of individual leukaemias and the need for real-time disease imaging and tracking. Fluorescently-tagged cells harvested from PDX models or transgenic cells harbouring genomic lesions of interest will be used to investigate CNS involvement. Cells isolated from leukaemic organs will be comprehensively characterised using molecular biology and NGS approaches. Surface receptor expression profiles of leukaemic cells will be examined to determine potential causes of invasion. Computational network biology analyses will be performed to define druggable pathways. Results from this project will inform on disease invasion and allow evaluation of treatment strategies for aggressive disease phenotypes in real-time.

Projects available for:  HDR: Mphil / PhD

Location: SAHMRI

Research project start: Semester 1 or 2

Special requirements: Police Clearance

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2019 Peter Nelson Post-doctoral Research Fellow SAHMRI
    2016 - 2017 Post-doctoral Research Associate St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    2014 Affiliate Lecturer University of Adelaide
    2013 - 2019 Post-doctoral Researcher SAHMRI
    2013 - 2013 Post-doctoral Researcher SA Pathology
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2019 Fellowship Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship SAHRMI Australia 300000
    2019 Fellowship Cancer Council SA Beat Cancer Project Mid-Career Cancer Research Fellowship (unable to accept) SAHMRI Australia 300000
    2016 Invitation Judge: European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Australian Postgraduate Symposium (EAPS)
    2016 Invitation Invited Speaker: 18th Annual ESH-iCMLF International Conference on CML – Biology and Therapy
    2016 Invitation Invited Speaker: 18th Annual ESH-iCMLF International Conference on CML – Biology and Therapy
    2016 Scholarship Australian-American Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship $38, 500
    2016 Invitation Invited Speaker: International Conference on Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
    2016 Fellowship Endeavour Research Fellowship (unable to accept) 23 000
    2013 Award Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence
    2011 Award HSANZ Non-Member Travel Grant 1000
    2010 Award HSANZ Non-Member Travel Grant 1500
    2010 Award New Scientist Award for Science and Technology in Society 1000
    2009 Scholarship Leukaemia Foundation of Australia PhD Scholarship 157 500
    2009 Scholarship Dawes Top-up Scholarship 17 500
    2009 Scholarship Baillieu Supplementary Research Scholarship 30 000
    2009 Scholarship NHMRC Biomedical Postgraduate Scholarship (unable to accept) 65 598
    2009 Scholarship Australian Postgraduate Award (unable to accept) 61 281
    2008 Award HSANZ Non-Member Travel Grant 1000
    2006 Award Australasian Society for HIV Medicine Junior Researcher Award
    2006 Scholarship Royal Adelaide Hospital Research Committee Honours Scholarship 5000
    2005 Scholarship Molecular Plant Breeding Cooperative Research Centre Summer Scholarship 1500
    2004 Honour Admittance to the Golden Key International Honour Society
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2009 - 2013 University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Medicine
    2006 - 2006 University of Adelaide Australia Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science
    2003 - 2005 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2016 - 2017 Fulbright Post-doctoral Research Scholarship St. Jude Children's Research Hospital United States
  • Research Interests

Date: January 2019 - December 2021

Project Name: “Preclinical modelling of T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia – defining targeted therapies and preventing treatment resistance

Chief Investigator: Laura Eadie

Funding Body: Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund

Amount: $300, 000

 

Date: January 2019 - December 2020

Project Name: “Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia: Understanding the factors that determine response to new immune-based therapies

Chief Investigator: Deborah White

Associate Investigator: Laura Eadie

Funding Body: Tour de Cure

Amount: $100, 000

 

Date: January 2017 - December 2018

Project Name: “Using in vivo modelling to investigate therapeutic approaches to reverse/prevent disease resistance in children with high-risk Ph-like B-ALL and T-ALL treated with targeted therapies”

Application Number: 171412

Chief Investigator: Laura Eadie

Associate Investigator: Deborah White

Funding Body: Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation

Amount: $75, 000

 

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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 Characterising KMT2A and MLLT10 rearranged acute lymphoblastic leukaemia Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Michelle Olivia Forgione
    2017 Co-Supervisor Characterising novel genomlc lesions to develop a new comblnatlonal therapeutic strategy, in high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) categorized by JAK fusions IL-7R and polycomb repressor complex 2 mutations Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Paniz Tavakoli Shirazi
    2015 Co-Supervisor The T3151: Bcc-Abl Mutation in CML and ALL: Biology, Resistance and Treatment Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Benjamin Chia Sing Leow
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Investigating the efficacy of novel and combination therapies in Ph-like ALL South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute Honours Full Time Caitlin Schutz
    2014 - 2014 Co-Supervisor The effect of the T315I mutation on treatment failure in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia: a mere case of drug binding efficiency? South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute HONOURS DEGREE of BACHELOR OF HEALTH SCIENCES Honours Full Time Benjamin Leow
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  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2017 - ongoing Member National Postdoctoral Association United States
    2016 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) Australia
    2015 - 2016 Member YWCA
    2006 - 2007 Member Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM) Australia

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