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Connor Sweeney

MA (Hons), BM BCh, MRCP, FRCPath


Clinical Research Fellow & DPhil Student

I am a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow and Specialist Registrar in Haematology. I began my undergraduate training at the University of Cambridge before completing clinical training in Oxford. Following qualification, I was awarded an NIHR Academic Foundation Post and subsequently an Academic Clinical Fellowship. These have enabled me to pursue my research interests alongside clinical practice.

My research focuses on acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), the commonest aggressive leukaemia in adults. Despite recent advances in our understanding of the underlying biology of AML, clinical outcomes remain poor for most patients. Leukaemic stem cells maintain growth of the leukaemia and are likely to be important in disease relapse and treatment resistance.

Previous work in Prof Vyas’ lab has identified candidate genes that are likely to convey the key stem cell property of self-renewal to AML cells. These include BMI1, MEIS1 and members of the HOXB family of transcription factors. I am using gene knockout and overexpression approaches to investigate the role of these transcription factors in human AML cells. We hope that deepening our understanding of AML stem cells will lead to targeted therapeutic strategies to eradicate these key drivers of leukaemic growth.

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