Iron and anaemia: A Careful Balancing Act Between Health and Disease, ZOOM Meeting
May 23, 2023
Gemma Moir-Meyer
Iron and anaemia: A Careful Balancing Act Between Health and Disease, ZOOM Meeting


Gemma is a fifth year PhD student working in the Pasricha Lab with Professor Sant-Rayn Pasricha who heads the WHO Collaborating Centre for Anaemia Detection and Control at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute..

Before moving to Melbourne to join his laboratory, Gemma met Sant-Rayn during her time as a Research Assistant at Oxford University where her work contributed to the understanding of rare anaemias.

Nowadays, instead of studying how iron deficiency gives rise to anaemia, she is characterising a hormone that causes iron overload in anaemias.

Iron overload can lead to organ damage, particularly in the heart, liver and endocrine system, but current therapies are limited and poorly tolerated.

Gemma's work aims to contribute new insights into drug targets for iron-loading anaemias. 

Anaemia - a reduction in the blood's oxygen carrying capacity - affects up to 800 million women and children worldwide, with the majority of this burden falling in low income countries. However, anaemia also affects 4.5 per cent of Australians. Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of anaemia. Our lab seeks to discover new therapies to prevent and treat anaemia by making fundamental discoveries into how the body regulates its iron stores. The Lab also undertakes field studies in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to test new solutions and influence policy to address anaemia in babies and pregnant mothers.

M.C. Tilak Dissanayake

Photo: Cameron Wells, one of the WEHI photographers