Impact Philanthropy 2020

Tuesday 24 March saw the ACRF Philanthropy team breaking new ground online by transitioning an event scheduled for the Melbourne CBD to a Zoom webinar. The launch of Impact Philanthropy 2020 – Aspiring to a World Without Cancer – for 50 minutes on a Tuesday evening had people watching, listening and participating from the comfort and safety of their homes, while top researchers explained the critical role essential funds play in cutting-edge cancer research projects. 

Kerry Strydom, CEO of ACRF officially welcomed guests and panellists to the session, talking about the evolution of the Impact Philanthropy initiative.

Professor Michael Parker from Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne, gave an interesting and informative address on the exciting work and progress to date of the ACRF Facility for Innovative Drug Design, a laboratory funded thanks to ACRF supporters and granted in November 2018. Already research outcomes have been established covering cancers including Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, Neuroblastoma, Ovarian, Gastric and Colon cancers. More work has been planned to cover these cancers together with head & neck cancers, CLL and other B-cell malignancies including B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and non-small cell lung cancer, and also pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and prostate cancer.

Professor Parker explained “Drug discovery takes 15 – 20 years and a lot of that is making sure the drug is suitable and safe to get into human trials. If we do drug repurposing what that means is we’re using a drug that already went through a lot of those stages and has proven to be safe and effective, but we can repurpose that drug sometimes to treat cancers….we’ve actually used drugs that were used in osteoporosis which turn out to be looking like they’re effective for most cancers listed.” 

 “The ACRF investment is just not investment in one Institute or one group of people it is investment in the whole nation because the instruments are accessible to everybody.” 

Professor Clare Scott then spoke with detail and understandable passion about the incredible work they are undertaking at Walter & Eliza Hall Institute to overcome the challenge of cancer complexity and diversity. Announced at the end of last year, the ACRF Program for Resolving Cancer Complexity and Therapeutic Resistance is enabled through the generosity of ACRF supporters and ACRF collaborative partners; whose support was gratefully acknowledged by Professor Scott. 

“The particular goal of our proposal really rested on how to unravel the complexity that we see in human cancers so that we can direct treatment to patients’ individual cancers, but that is a massive challenge and we realised that we needed to take our equipment to the next level.  That wasn’t possible without dedicated equipment funding and who to turn to but ACRF who have the track record in funding that sort of equipment” Professor Scott said. 

The webinar also included an opportunity for the attendees to ask questions of ACRF and the two researchers, receiving their answers live during the session. 

Recordings of the webinar were made available as a recording following the event for those who could not make it. If you are interested to be added to the invitation list for future events, or to listen to the March webinar please email your request to philanthropy@acrf.com.au 

ACRF supporters have said:

“Really interesting and informative webinar” 

“We have just watched your online presentation by those truly amazing scientists who ceaselessly think for the benefit of so many in our community….we listened to the facilitation of so much of their investigations by the invaluable equipment made available to them by the ACRF” 

 “Thank you again for sending through the link of the webinar, I had a chance this afternoon to watch it and found it very interesting and informative. It goes to show how important the investment into research really is.”