Dr Ashley Ng

Dr Ashley Ng



Ashley Ng



BMedSci MBBS (Hons) Melbourne FRACP FRCPA PhD Melbourne

Clinical Translational Research Fellow

As a haematologist, I am interested in how blood cells are produced from stem cells, and how this process is corrupted in blood diseases. Blood cells are critical for health and wellbeing. They carry oxygen throughout the body, fight infection and control bleeding. Throughout our lifetime, blood cells need to be replaced in a constant, tightly controlled manner.

Our division has revealed many of the genes that are critical for blood cell development. Many of these genes are also involved in the development of blood diseases, such as leukaemia and lymphoma in children, adolescents and adults. By understanding the processes that control blood cell development, I aim to advance the treatment of blood diseases for both children and adults.

Research interest

Our laboratory focuses on the use of genetic approaches to decipher mechanisms which regulate blood cells in normal development and disease. This involves in vitro and in vivo model systems which can be manipulated to understand how genes such as transcription factors, signaling molecules and cell receptors control these processes.

By integrating fundamental biology with translational approaches using genomics and chemical biology, we aim to develop a strong basis for the understanding of blood development and disease, to allow precision medicine approaches for rational drug design.

My research interests are:

  • The control of haemopoietic stem cells and blood cell development.
  • The role of genes in blood cell development and function in health and disease. This includes investigating the causes of childhood blood cancer such as Down syndrome-associated leukaemia, as well as acute leukaemias with poor prognosis.
  • The role of signaling molecules and receptors in control of blood cell production and development of myeloproliferative disorders.
  • The mechanisms that underly blood cancer development, in particular how changes in gene expression can promote the development of blood cancers from pre-cancerous stages in children and adults. We are particularly focussed on investigating acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (the most common paediatric cancer) and how to develop new therapies against aggressive subtypes of this disease.
  • The mechanisms which determine how blood cancers respond to treatment.
Diseased cell undergoing apoptosis

When cancer in one part of the body spreads to another part of the body, the outlook for a patient is rarely positive. Given how frequently this happens, it may come as a surprise to know that the spread of cancer from one person to another is actually incredibly rare.

Blood cells

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