Young lions of medical research win scholarships

Lions scholars (from left) Bakhita Hassan, Andrea Dewar and Dr Andrew Philpott.

Lions scholars (from left) Bakhita Hassan, Andrea Dewar and Dr Andrew Philpott.
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Monday, 7 April 2003

Three PhD students undertaking medical research at the University of Adelaide have received major scholarships totalling $75,000 over three years from the Lions Medical Research Foundation.

The scholarships are aimed at fostering the careers of young medical research scientists and advancing medical research in South Australia. The recipients are:

Ms Andrea Dewar - for the study of Chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)

CML is a cancer of white blood cells, occurring when bone marrow stem cells undergo a malignant change. It is almost uniformly fatal, except in cases where bone marrow transplants are possible.

Ms Dewar's project mainly examines the process of cell differentiation in leukaemic cells. Her results may provide important information on the progression of leukaemia and aid in the development of new treatment strategies. Her studies of a new drug that shows promising results in the treatment of CML may also offer new insights into the use of this drug for the treatment of other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Ms Dewar is based at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science.

Ms Bakhita Hassan - for the study of upper airway obstruction in children

Upper airway obstruction is a very common problem in young children and can cause serious problems, such as growth and heart failure. Less severe obstruction can also cause problems with memory, attention, learning and behaviour. In South Australia, 18% of children tend to snore, a sign of possible upper airway obstruction, for more than three nights a week.

Ms Hassan's project will use more sensitive methods to measure upper airway obstruction in infants, and provide observations on infants' sleep-time breathing that are not normally available from standard sleep studies.

Ms Hassan is a student in the University's Department of Paediatrics, based at the Women's & Children's Hospital in the Sleep Disorders Unit.

Dr Andrew Philpott - for the study of cardiac chest pain (angina)

Dr Philpott is studying how to achieve the best effect with nitroglycerin (GTN), a drug used in the treatment of angina. He and his colleagues have observed that the beneficial effect of GTN may be impaired even before therapy begins, and it may become even more impaired as therapy continues. This phenomenon is called nitrate tolerance.

A variety of techniques will be used to determine why this happens and whether the nitrate tolerance in patients can be reduced. Prevention of nitrate tolerance would significantly improve the treatment of angina and other related cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks.

Dr Philpott is based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.


Contact Details

Ms Andrea Dewar
Business: +61 8 8222 3498

Ms Bakhita Hassan
Business: +61 8 8161 6456

Dr Andrew Philpott
Mobile: 0403 329 291

Mr Bob Dewell
Lions Medical Research Foundation
Business: +61 8 8388 7108