Sheela Abraham, Ph.D.

Sheela Abraham
  • Assistant Professor
  • Botterell Hall Office A307,18 Stuart Street, Kingston On
  • Kingston
  • K7L 3N6
  • Telephone: 613-533-2975
  • E-Mail:

Faculty Bio

Academic Experience
  • Post Doctoral Senior Research Associate, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK (2009-2016)
  • NSERC Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK (2004-2008)
  • Ph.D. Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Canada  
  • B.Sc. Microbiology, University of Alberta, Canada



2014-2015   Medical Research Council (UK) Clinical assessment of transcription factor targeting CML

2014-2015   Constellation Pharmaceutics Research Grant

2014-2015   Roche Research Grant

2013-2016   Bloodwise Project Grant (UK) Dual targeting of p53 and c-Myc to eradicate CML stem cells

2012            Elimination of Leukaemia Fund Grant

2012            British Society for Haematology Start-Up Grant



I obtained my Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Professor Marcel Bally, developing lipid membrane nanoparticle delivery systems which founded my interest in cancer therapeutics, lipid bilayer chemistry and nano-based structures. My Ph.D. thesis and first 1st authored publication served as the basis of my inventorship toward the development of the FDA approved (2017) liposomal formulation VyxeosTM. Completed clinical trials demonstrate that VyxeosTM treatment doubles the overall median survival rate and reduces the risk of death by 31% for patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). AML, the most common of all adult leukaemias, has the poorest survival rates with pharmacological treatment remaining unchanged for 30 years. After my Ph.D., I carried out a doctoral fellowship in cellular biology supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) with Professor Paul Lehner at the University of Cambridge studying RING ubiquitin E3 ligases that regulate immune receptors. I completed a second post doctorate with Professor Tessa Holyoake, funded by Bloodwise that involved investigating critical pathways in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). This study was the first comparative proteomic screen of normal vs CML stem cells with the identification of a therapeutic regimen based on in silico analyses. Our strategy targeting multi-connected nodes based on network analyses proved superior to treatment with the most successful rationally-designed drug of the last century: Imatinib.


Research Programme Focus

Our research involves interrogating signalling events critical to the development and maintenance of both normal haematopoietic and cancer stem cells. To accomplish this, our research integrates biochemical and molecular biological techniques, primary human tissue culturing techniques, nanoparticle characterization and sizing, chromatography, mass spectrometry (MS), RNA sequencing (RNAseq) microscopy, flow cytometry, bioinformatics and network analyses.

Last Modified: 2018-01-11