Haematology Research Laboratory – The Hunter Haematology Group

The Hunter Haematology Research Group conducts laboratory based studies into haematological cancers and disorders of coagulation with a primary interest in circulating biomarkers and extracellular microvesicles. In collaboration with researchers at the University of Newcastle and the Hunter Medical Research Institute, the team is working towards the development of a research program in the area of Myelodysplasia and Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

The group maintains strong collaborations with researchers internationally through the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, the BFM study group for Paediatric ALL, Kingston University and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Canada; nationally with researchers at the Universities of Tasmania and Melbourne, the Royal Hobart Hospital and Austin Health, Children’s Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital, Randwick; and locally with the departments of Neurology (John Hunter Hospital), Molecular Medicine (NSW Health Pathology–North), Clinical Toxicology and Pharmacology (Calvary Mater Newcastle), Medical Oncology (Calvary Mater Newcastle), Radiation Oncology (Calvary Mater Newcastle), Hunter Medical Research Institute, and the School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy (University of Newcastle).

The haematology research team is affiliated with the University of Newcastle through conjoint appointments and engage in teaching undergraduate medical students, as well as supervising biomedical student projects and research higher degree students with the aim of encouraging students to enter this area of research.

Medical Oncology Research Laboratory – MOR Experiments

The Medical Oncology Research Laboratory – MOR Experiments has a vision for the precision in the delivery of cancer treatment – highly precise cancer treatment for predictable benefit and predictable low level toxicity.

Our mission is to bring together gifted and likeminded scientists and clinicians to conduct translational medical research in a laboratory facility co-localised within the clinical setting.

Our scientific team provides expertise in cell biology, molecular biology, and analytical biology working in collaboration with a clinical team of medical oncologists and a clinical trials unit (Calvary Mater Newcastle MOR Trials).

The MOR Laboratory was established in 1988 and provides 120m² of wet laboratory facilities.

Research includes:

  • Clinical Biomarker Discovery

The biomarker program involves discovering new naturally occurring markers in the blood of patients for predicting treatment effects such as toxicity, disease response, disease progression, and patient survival. This research also includes measures of drug metabolism including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenetics and therapeutic drug monitoring. Examples of this include measures of 5FU, uracil, mitotane, temozolomide and their metabolites in the blood of cancer patients.

  • Drug Discovery and Development

The drug development program focuses on the screening of targeted chemical libraries and natural products in cancer cells grown in the laboratory. Examples of note are the discovery of highly selective breast cancer targeting compounds and a class of highly selective and potent platinum compounds.

  • Cancer Cell Culture Facility

The facility grows cancer cells derived from cancers of the lung, colon, brain, pancreas, breast, ovary, skin, prostate, kidney, blood, and neurons. These cell populations are invaluable models of cancer and provide the ability to study drug sensitivity and importantly drug resistance to treatment.

Our unit works in collaboration with the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance and the University of Newcastle.


Dr Lisa Lincz
Senior Research Officer


Dr Jennette Sakoff
Chief Hospital Scientist

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