Blood cancer research unit

Haematology research has always been a core focus of Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC) since its establishment in 1977.

In 2013, a collaboration between LBC and the University of Auckland opened the Leukaemia & Blood Cancer Research Unit (LBCRU) within the university’s Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

LBC made an initial financial commitment of $1.25M and has continued to support the targeted and innovative research undertaken at the unit.

Co-director of LBCRU and the Marijanna Kumerich Chair’s first holder in Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research is Professor Stefan Bohlander. He came to New Zealand following a distinguished career in human genetics, especially in next-generation sequencing and discovering mutations in blood cancers.

The other co-director is Dr Peter Browett, who is an internationally recognised haematologist. He is currently a Professor of Pathology (Specialising in lymphoma, malignant haematology and bone marrow transplant) at the University of Auckland.

Dr Browett is also LBC’s Medical Director and is on our Board of Trustees.


LBCRU focuses on two main areas:

  • Personalised medicine for blood cancer patients
  • Mouse and zebrafish blood cancer models to understand cancer better and to develop novel therapies

In just a few years, significant research has already been undertaken, including developing a gene panel for testing acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). As a result, all adult patients in Auckland with newly diagnosed and relapsed AML now have samples collected for DNA analysis. It is the hope to roll this myeloid gene panel out to all blood cancer patients across the country.

For more information on the research taking place at the LBCRU and the funding required to continue this vital work, contact Annabel Lush, Business Manager, Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand.