05 June 2020
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Professor Andrew Roberts, Clinical Haematologist and BMT Physician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) and cancer researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall institute for Medical Research (WEHI) has received a Member of the Order of Australia award (AM). 

The award is for significant service to medical research, to haematology, and to cancer organisations.

An experienced haematologist and laboratory researcher, he champions the role of research in continuing to improve the care that we provide to people with blood cancers.

Professor Roberts holds joint appointments with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the University of Melbourne that ensure clinical care provided by the integrated clinical haematology department of Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter Mac is linked to the precinct's world leading research.

Professor Andrew Roberts has guided the haematology disciplines across the alliance partners to reach shared priorities agreement, promote consistency in treatment and care, and coordinate an approach to help expand clinical trials.

Ongoing areas of development encompass:

  • Harmonisation of haematology education and training, through a suite of high quality, online educational resources
  • Analysis of barriers to cross-institution clinical trial referrals

Professor Roberts is also best known for his research into the drug, venetoclax, which is a potent anti-cancer drug, co-developed and trialled in Australia, and based on a landmark research discovery made at WEHI.

The drug is effective in killing cancer cells in approximately 80 per cent of people with very advanced forms of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL). Twenty per cent of patients achieved a complete remission, where the leukaemia was no longer seen on routine tests.