CSL Behring/ANZSBT PhD Scholarship 2022

We congratulate Suelyn Van den Helm who has been awarded the CSL Behring/ANZSBT PhD Scholarship for 2022.

Suelyn’s project title is “Towards personalised blood product therapy after cardiopulmonary bypass in neonates and infants”.  She explains:

“Annually in Australia, approximately 3000 babies are born with severe heart problems. These babies require surgery which uses a heart-lung support known as cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). While CPB has improved survival rates, CPB is associated with a risk of bleeding and death. Current approaches to manage bleeding in CPB include transfusing high volumes of blood products, however this can lead to heart failure. There are now several targeted low volume haemostatic agents available, however, as the mechanisms driving bleeding in CPB are unknown, there is little evidence for the clinical use of these agents. My project is a 3-year study of 150 babies undergoing CPB at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, the largest children’s heart surgical centre in Australia. Blood samples and detailed clinical data will be collected using a protocol established and published by our research team. Once we understand why bleeding occurs in some babies, we can trial new targeted therapies including CSL products RiaSTAP®, Prothrombinex®-VF, Biostate® and MonoFIX®-V, and improve outcomes. This will lead to improvements in bleeding management strategies and enable us to determine personalised therapy for these vulnerable babies.”

We wish Suelyn all the best in her degree.