Smiling girl with cancer hugging a teddy bear

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute stem cell researcher Associate Professor Ngaire Elwood has been recognised for her outstanding contributions to cellular therapies and cancer research in Victoria.

Ngaire headshot July 2022Associate Professor Elwood was inducted into the 2022 Victorian Honour Roll of Women, which recognises those who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and excellence in their field of expertise, interest or endeavour, or through their commitment to the community.

Associate Professor Elwood has devoted her career to investigating and developing improved therapies for cancer treatment as part of her leadership of the BMDI Cord Blood Bank and Murdoch Children’s Cord Blood Stem Cell Research Lab.

Her induction into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women highlights her remarkable ongoing involvement in cellular therapy, cancer, cord blood, stem cells and leukaemia – the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Australian children and accounts for about one in three cases.

Associate Professor Elwood helps to provide stem-cell-rich cord blood (the remaining blood found in the umbilical cord and placenta immediately after a baby’s birth) for patients undergoing bone marrow transplants for leukaemia and other illnesses. This has resulted in some patients experiencing better treatment outcomes in Australia and worldwide. Associate Professor Elwood is a cord blood bank inspector and has helped to write the cord blood international standards that ensure world best practices for patients undergoing bone marrow transplants.

As a young cancer survivor, Associate Professor Elwood has paved the way for future breakthroughs in treatment and is at the forefront of improving cancer therapies worldwide.

“I developed an interest in leukaemia, blood and stem cells when I had bone cancer at age 15 and was treated at The Royal Children's Hospital. Having survived that, I decided to devote my career towards improving cancer outcomes for other children.”

Associate Professor Elwood also sits on the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Advisory Committee on Biologicals and the boards of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT), the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia and the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT).

Associate Professor Elwood’s ongoing commitment to Australian and international communities is helping to improve cancer therapies globally.