Multiple Myeloma Lab
Group Leader: Prof Kwee Yong
Prof Yong was educated at Oxford University and University College London (UCL). She completed doctoral studies at UCL and was awarded a PhD in 1993 for her work on growth factors. Professor Yong returned to UCL as Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in 1999, since then she has been clinical and academic lead in multiple myeloma at University College London. Her early research programme was focussed on haemopoietic cell adhesion, migration and in vivo homing in the context of inflammation and stem cell transplantation, and her research today in multiple myeloma retains a strong focus on cellular interactions and the understanding of the bone marrow microenvironment in disease pathogenesis.
Prof Yong leads national NCRN phase 2 and phase 3 studies using innovative approaches to risk stratified treatments, and the development of immunotherapies, including CAR-T treatments. She is academic programme lead in Haematology at UCL, overseeing and providing mentorship for NIHR and non-NIHR clinical academic trainees, and is the academic representative on the London Haematology Specialty training board.
Dr Lydia Lee
Dr Lee graduated from UCL in 2004, completed her Clinical Haematology training in the North West London Rotation before embarking on a Bloodwise funded Junior Clinician Training Fellowship under the mentorship of Prof Kwee Yong and Dr Martin Pule at the UCL Cancer Institute to develop an APRIL based Chimeric Antigen Receptor for Multiple Myeloma. This work formed the basis for the APRIL CAR entering Phase I clinical trials. Having been awarded a Clinician Scientist Fellowship by the MRC in 2018, Lydia and her team are investigating the role of the immune dysfunction in disease progression and response to treatment. This work will provide greater insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of myeloma and also aid the development of rational therapeutic strategies for the treatment of this cancer.
Daria studied molecular biology at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland (BSc 2010, MSc 2012). She is a senior research technician, providing support for ongoing projects and clinical trials within the Myeloma group while also working towards a PhD focused on characterising the protective effect of stroma on carfilzomib mediated cytotoxicity in MM.
Dr Thien-An Tran
Dr Tran graduated from medical school in 2011 at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She obtained a board certification in internal medicine in 2017, before embarking on specialist training in Haematology. She is spending a year at UCL to set up the multi-parameter flow assay for detection of minimal residual disease in bone marrow of myeloma patients.
Evie graduated from the University of Exeter in 2018 with a BSc in Medical Sciences, including a Professional Training Year at Harvard/MGH researching novel therapeutics for glioblastoma. Evie is a research technician who has responsibility for archiving clinical samples from UCLH, the Cardamon trial, and the upcoming Myeloma XV trial, and is also spearheading the DNA sequencing of tumour samples for detailed clinical correlation.
Dr Selina Chavda
Dr Chavda graduated in 2007 from UCL with a 1st class hons BSc in Medical Pharmacology, and then graduated in 2010 from UCL (MBBS) with distinction. Selina was an academic clinical fellow in the South West London haematology rotation, and as part of this undertook a translational project investigating the role of autophagy in mediating resistance to proteasome inhibitor therapy in MM. She was successfully awarded a CRUK consumables bursary for this work and was subsequently awarded an MRC funded CRTF to further pursue her doctoral studies in this field.
Nikolaos completed a BSc degree in Biology from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and graduated from UCL with a MSc in Cell and Gene Therapy. He is a research technician working on a project developing CAR T cell therapy for Myeloma.
Rivani completed a BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL in 2017 and later completed a MSc in Infection and Immunity from UCL in 2018. She is a research technician working on the role of the immune microenvironment in CAR T cell therapy in myeloma.
Anna graduated from King’s College London in 2019 with MSc in Biopharmaceuticals and she also holds a BSc degree in Biotechnology (2017) from London Metropolitan University. She is a research technician who has responsibility for archiving clinical samples from UCLH and the upcoming Myeloma XV trial.
Elise graduated from Queen Mary University in 2015 with a BSc in Medical Genetics before undertaking her PhD at Cardiff University, investigating the role of immune checkpoint expression in renal cell carcinoma immune evasion. Elise is working on the bone marrow immune environment of patients with smouldering myeloma.
Kane studied Biology in York and then graduated with an MSc in Infection and Immunity from UCL. He is a PhD student studying how changes to the immune system, specifically T cells, can contribute to the malignant transformation and progression of the pre-cancerous condition Smouldering Multiple Myeloma. Kane studies T cell responses in the tumour by analysing Single-Cell Sequencing and Flow/Mass Cytometry data using machine learning and computational statistics.