Congratulations, Lachlin Vaughan!

16 March 2017
Lachlin Vaughan Clinical PhD Scholarship Top-Up awardee 2017 Round 1

Successful recipient of the Inaugural TCRN Clinical PhD Scholarship Top-up Award

The TCRN is excited to announce the first recipient of the TCRN Clinical PhD Scholarship Top-up Award. The TCRN Clinical PhD Scholarship Top-up Award is designed to enhance the translational cancer research capabilities of health, medical, allied health and nursing graduates undertaking a PhD whose research interests strongly align with the flagships of the TCRN.   

Through the TCRN 2025 Workforce Capacity Building Flagship, we support health, medical, allied health and nursing professionals to become robust cancer researchers and to accelerate the rapid translation of scientific discoveries into clinical policy and practice to improve patient outcomes.  

Recipient:            Lachlin Vaughan

Project Name:     Improving treatment outcomes for myelodysplastic syndrome and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia

Award:                 Lachlin is the recipient of a three year Clinical PhD Scholarship Top-up Award

Supervisors:        Prof John Pimanda and Dr Ashwin Unnikrishnan

TCRN Flagship:  Clinical Improvements into Practice: Haematological Malignancy and Thrombosis

Lachlin is a final year haematology advanced trainee and completed his clinical training at Westmead Hospital.

His PhD project focuses on the discovery of better drug treatments for the two closely related haematological malignancies: myelodysplastic syndrome ("MDS") and chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia ("CMML").

Currently, there are only two treatment options for advanced MDS and CMML. The only potentially curative option, bone marrow transplant, is too toxic for the vast majority of patients with these age-related malignancies. 5-Azacytidine ("AZA") remains the only effective drug currently available but only half of patients will respond to this. Unfortunately, even those that respond ultimately succumb to progression of disease and die from an acute leukaemic transformation or infection. 

His research aims to find effective combination treatments with AZA that are currently available in the clinical setting and to understand the genetic and biological consequences. In addition, his research will focus on the discovery and understanding of novel drugs in MDS and CMML.

He believes that better understanding the currently available drug, AZA, and finding an alternative drug that is more effective to haematological malignancies would improve patient outcomes.

“The TCRN scholarship will greatly help me in the completion of my PhD and allow me to attend relevant conferences not only to increase my knowledge in the area of myeloid malignancies but also to present our findings.

I hope to facilitate in improving the outlook for patients and the understanding in these relatively common haematological malignancies predominantly affecting those over 60 year of age and to promote the TCRN through presentation of the research findings from this project,” said Lachlin. 

Lachlin Vaughan commenced his first year of PhD studies at the Prince of Wales Clinical School, UNSW in March 2017.