Cancer Research Achievements Acknowledged at Clifford Awards

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The Clifford Prize for Cancer Research was presented to Professor Inder Verma and Professor Jane Visvader at Seventh Barossa Meeting on Cell Signalling in Cancer Biology and Therapy.

The bi-annual prize is presented by the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB), South Australia, for outstanding international achievement in cancer research.

Professor Verma is an American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He has been responsible for many major discoveries in cancer biology over the past four decades, ranging from basic discoveries regarding transcription factors involved in cancer, laying the basis for modern molecular biology by developing the cDNA synthesis procedure using reverse transcriptase, to development of viral-based vectors for gene therapy approaches to various genetic diseases, including cancers.

Professor Verma and co-workers have ingeniously employed specific methods of mouse genetics to reveal the roles of many specific oncogenes / transcription factors in normal cellular growth, differentiation and development.

Professor Visvader is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. She and her team have made major contributions to the understanding of breast cancer by isolating mammary stem cells, defining master regulators of mammary gland development and identifying genetic lesions that drive oncogenesis. Her landmark discoveries have revealed master regulators that orchestrate cell fate decisions in the mammary gland, providing an indispensable framework for understanding mammary lineage commitment and differentiation, and a basis for understanding origins of breast cancer.

The Clifford Prize for Cancer Research represents an appreciation by Australian scientists for discoveries that have combined outstanding science with significant clinical relevance.

The ACRF Cancer Genomics Facility was established at the CCB in 2009, with the assistance of a $3.5m grant from the ACRF.

Image courtesy of CCB, left to right: Professor Inder Verma, Professor Jane Visvader, Prof Sharad Kumar, Dr Leanna Read, Chief Scientist, South Australia and Prof Angel Lopez, CCB.

New targeted research could offer alternative treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Michael_ParkerACRF-funded research teams across Australia have collaborated to develop a remarkable new treatment option for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) and accelerate it into clinical trials.

AML is a particularly aggressive form of cancer with poor survival rates; although chemotherapy can induce remission there is often a high chance of relapse. However, this new research, published in major international journal Cell Reports, details how a newly developed therapeutic antibody (CSL362) binds to the cancer cells and then recruits the body’s immune system to kill the cancer cells.

Continue reading “New targeted research could offer alternative treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia”

Global cancer research leaders gather

The Lowy Symposium has revealed significant developments for cancer treatments and cure during what has been an eventful month for researchers leading up to the opening of the new state-of-the-art Lowy Cancer Research Centre.

Australian and international scientists came together to share real-time data on the latest studies, and to engage in discussion and debate for improving future research.

Advanced equipment and technologies, and recent breakthroughs in drug therapies were among the highlights from the symposium.

Associate Professor Ricky Johnstone from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne said: “Throughout the meeting there was an emphasis on the use of cutting-edge platform technologies such as high throughput chemical screening and molecular imaging.”

Researchers also discussed the emergence of sophisticated new methods for discovering cancer drugs. One of those is structural biology, where scientists analyse the structure of protein molecules at a three-dimensional level. Continue reading “Global cancer research leaders gather”

2009 Grant Recipients Announced

The winners of the ACRF latest research grants are:

Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) & University of Newcastle NSW: $3.1 million

To build and equip two dedicated laboratories for the world’s first Chemical Proteomics Centre for Kinomics. This is a new discipline, merging genomics (genes) and proteomics (proteins) implicated in certain human cancers and is a priority area for new drug targets.

The Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB), South Australian Pathology and the University of Adelaide: $3.5 million

For equipment to establish a new Cancer Genomics Facility, enabling researchers to obtain insights into genetic modifications that underpin development of new tools for better diagnostics, disease prognosis, drug response, and resistance to chemotherapy.