Theme Member
Dr Sue Heatley


Phone: 08 812 84311



PhD (Transplant Immunology) 2011, University of Melbourne, Vic

Master of Education (Educational Leadership 2012), Charles Sturt University, NSW

Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours, First Class) 2002 Charles Sturt University, NSW

Research Focus

Dr Sue Heatley’s current research is focused on understanding the genetic causes of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in both adults and children. Rapid and accurate identification of these alterations at diagnosis will provide the opportunity for these patients to be treated with currently available targeted therapies. This is likely to lead to immediate improvements in response and long-term outcomes in this group of high risk ALL patients.  Her fellowship will investigate single cell genomics in adolescents with high risk B-ALL to determine the clonal evolution of the disease.

Dr Heatley coordinates a diverse range of projects encompassing ALL research and genomic techniques currently underway in the laboratory. This role also involves the preparation of manuscripts for publication, fellowship applications and research grants, and the supervision of post-graduate students.


Lopes BA, Meyer C, Barbosa TC, zur Stadt U, Hortsmann M, Venn NC, Heatley S, White DL, Sutton R, Pombo-de-Oliveira MS, Marschalek R, Mariana Emerenciano M. (2106) COBL: a novel hotspot for IKZF1 deletions in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Oncotarget,

Trahair T, Lock R, Sutton S, Sia K, Evans K, Richmond J, Law T, Venn N, Irving J, Moore S, Nievergall E, Dang P, Heatley S, White D, Revesz T. (2016) Xenograft-directed personalized therapy for a patient with post-transplant relapse of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Bone Marrow Transplantation, 51(9): 1279-82.

Richmond J, Robbins A, Evans K, Beck D, Raushan T. Kurmasheva RT, Billups CA, Carol H, Heatley S, Sutton R, Marshall GM, White D, Pimanda J, Houghton PJ, Smith MA, Lock
 RB. (2016) Profound sensitivity of preclinical models of Ph-like acute lymphoblastic leukemia to the SMAC-mimetic birinapant. Cancer Res, 76(15):4579-91.

Zaliova M, Moorman AV, Cazzaniga G, Stanulla, M, Harvey RC, Roberts, KG, Heatley SL, Loh ML, Konopleva M, Chen I, O. Zimmermannova, Schwab C, SmithO, Mozziconacci MJ, Chabannon C, Kim M, Falkenburg JHF, Norton A, Marshall K, Haas OA, Starkova J, Stuchly J, Hunger SP, White D, Mullighan CG, Willman CL, Stary J, Trka J, Zuna J. (2016) Characterization of leukemias with ETV6-ABL1 fusion. Haematologica, 101(9); 1082-93.

Dolai S, Sia KCS, Robbins AK, Zhong L, Heatley SL, Vincent TL, Hochgrafe F, Sutton R, Kurmasheva RT, Revesz T, White DL, Houghton PJ, Smith MA, Teachey DT, Daly RJ, Raftery MJ, Lock RB. (2016) Quantitative phophotyrosine profiling of patient-derived xenografts identifies therapeutic targets in pediatric leukemia. Cancer Res, 76(9); 2766-77.

Yeung DT, Moulton DJ, Heatley SL, Nievergall E, Dang P, Braley J, Branford S, Moore S, Mullighan CG, Hughes TP, White DL. (2015) Relapse of BCR-ABL1-like ALL mediated by the ABL1 kinase domain mutation T3151 following initial response to dasatinib treatment. Leukemia 29(1) 230-232.

Sadras T, Perugini M, Kok CH, Iarossi DG, Heatley SL, Brumatti G, Samuel MS, To LB, Lewis ID, Lopez AF, Ekert PG, Ramshaw HS, D'Andrea RJ. 2014. Interleukin-3-mediated regulation of β-catenin in myeloid transformation and acute myeloid leukemia. Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Heatley SL, Pietra G, Lin J, Widjaja J, Harpur C, Lester S, Rossjohn J, Mingari C, Szer J, Schwarer A, Bradstock K, Bardy PB, Moretta L, Sullivan LC, Brooks AG. 2013. Polymorphism in human cytomegalovirus UL40 impacts on recognition of Human Leukocyte Antigen-E (HLA-E) by natural killer cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288(12); 8679 - 90.

Holmfeldt L, Diaz-Flores E, Wei L, Zhang J, Ding L, Payne-Turner D, Churchman M, Andersson A, Chen S-C, McCastlain K, Becksfort J, MaJ, Wu G, Patel SN, Heatley SL, Song G, Easton J, Parker M, Chen X, Rusch M, Hedlund E, Drenberg C, Baker S, Pei D, Cheng C, Lu C, Fulton RS, Fulton LL, Dooling DJ, Ochoa K, Minden M, Lewis ID, To LB, Marlton P, Raca G, Stock W, Neale G, Drexler HG, Dickins RA, Shurtleff SA, Pui C-H, Ribeiro RC, Devidas M, Carroll AJ, Heerema NA, Wood B, Borowitz MJ, Gastier-Foster JM, Raimondi SC, Mardis ER, Wilson RK, Downing JR, Hunger SP, Loh ML, and Mullighan CG. 2013. The genomic landscape of hypodiploid acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Nature Genetics. 45(3); 242-252.

Zhang J, Ding L, Holmfeldt L, Wu G, Heatley SL, Payne-Turner D, Easton J, Chen X, Wang J, Rusch M, Lu C, Chen SC, Wei L, Collins-Underwood JR, Ma J, Roberts KG, Pounds SB, Ulyanov A, Becksfort J, Gupta P, Huether R, Kriwacki RW, Parker M, McGoldrick DJ, Zhao D, Alford D, Espy S, Bobba KC, Song G, Pei D, Cheng C, Roberts S, Barbato MI, Campana D, Coustan-Smith E, Shurtleff SA, Raimondi SC, Kleppe M, Cools J, Shimano KA, Hermiston ML, Doulatov S, Eppert K, Laurenti E, Notta F, Dick JE, Basso G, Hunger SP, Loh ML, Devidas M, Wood B, Winter S, Dunsmore KP, Fulton RS, Fulton LL, Hong X, Harris CC, Dooling DJ, Ochoa K, Johnson KJ, Obenauer JC, Evans WE, Pui CH, Naeve CW, Ley TJ, Mardis ER, Wilson RK, Downing JR, Mullighan CG. 2012. The genetic basis of early T-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nature, 481: 157-163.

Wang J, Mullighan CG, Easton J, Roberts S, Heatley SL, Ma J, Rusch MC, Chen K, Harris CC, Ding L, Holmfeldt L, Payne-Turner D, Fan X, Wei L, Zhao D, Obenauer J, Naeve C, Mardis ER, Wilson RK, Downing JR and Zhang J, for the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital - Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project. 2011. CREST: an algorithm that maps structural variation with base-pair resolution. Nature Methods, 8(8): 652-654.

Mullighan CG, Zhang J, Kasper LH, Lerach S, Payne-Turner D, Phillips LA, Heatley SL, Holmfeldt L, Collins-Underwood JR, Ma J, Buetow KW, Pui CH, Baker SD, Brindle P and Downing JR. 2011. CREBBP mutations in relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Nature, 471: 235-239.

Carroll KE, Dean MM, Heatley SL, Meehan AC, Mifsud NA, Kotsimbos TC, Snell GI and Westall GP. 2011. High levels of mannose-binding lectin are associated with poor outcomes after lung transplantation. Transplantation, 91: 1044-1049.

Worthley DL, Johnson DF, Eisen DP, Dean MM, Heatley SL, Tung J, Scott J, Padbury RT, Harley HA, Bardy PG, Angus PW and Mullighan CG. 2009 Donor mannose-binding lectin deficiency increases the likelihood of clinically significant infection after liver transplantation. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 48 (4): 410-417 



July 1 2016- June 30 2017 The Kids Cancer Project  Elucidating drug sensitivity and clonal evolution of Ph-like ALL in adolescents.  Fellowship: Susan Heatley

2015 Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation   Developing a robust screening tool to identify children with high risk “Ph-like” Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) that will lead to improved outcomes through the use of targeted therapies. CIA Susan Heatley, CIB Deborah White, CIC Charles Mullighan


2015 Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand Albert Baikie Award for best oral presentation by a new investigator. HSANZ Annual Meeting, Adelaide, 18-21 October 2015.

New Investigator Scholarship 2009, Sponsored by the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand ($30,000)

American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) International Scholar Award.

ASHI Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California, USA, 2-6 November 2009.

Selected for Presidential Symposium, Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Scientific Meeting, Adelaide, SA, 18-21 October 2009

BC Serologicals Australia Junior Investigator Award for Best Presentation, Australasian and South East Asia Tissue Typing Association 30th Annual Scientific Meeting, Chiangmai, Thailand, 22-24 November 2006.

Best Poster Presentation, Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology 12th Annual Conference, Byron Bay, NSW 4-6 May 2005.

Selected for Presidential Symposium, Australian and New Zealand Society of Blood Transfusion Annual Scientific Meeting, Christchurch, New Zealand, 19-22 October 2003

Travel Awards:

2016 $1000 awarded by HSANZ to attend the HAA Annual Scientific Meeting, Melbourne, Australia

$4500 awarded by ASEATTA to attend 15th International Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Workshop, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2008

$2500 awarded by ASEATTA to attend 2nd International Summer School on Immunogenetics, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, 2005

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North Terrace Adelaide 5000 South Australia
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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna Nation.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and respects the traditional owners, the family clans who are the Kaurna Nation from the Adelaide Plains region of South Australia. We acknowledge the clans of the Kaurna Nation and the sacred knowledge they hold for their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna Nation, their ancestors and the descendants of these living family clans today.