Childhood Leukaemia Research Group

Dr Christina Halsey leads the Childhood Leukaemia research group, based in the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, where she investigates mechanisms of central nervous system disease in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and ways to reduce treatment related toxicity in this condition.

Despite great advances in the treatment of paediatric ALL, disease in the central nervous system (CNS) remains challenging.  A better understanding of the mechanisms of CNS engraftment is a necessary pre-requisite for diagnostic and therapeutic advances.  Current projects include investigating the adaptation of leukaemic cells to CNS and bone marrow microenvironments and identifying metabolic vulnerabilities that can be exploited therapeutically.   A second major interest of the group is in mechanisms and therapeutic strategies that might reduce neurotoxicity associated with treatment for childhood ALL.  Dr Halsey is the chief investigator on a study, "Biomarkers and discovery of new therapeutic targets for chemotherapy associated neurotoxicity" which is an add-on study for the current UK national leukaemia trial - UKALL 2011.