ACRF Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology

  • Research Institute: Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland

  • Amount granted: $1.096 million

  • Year granted: 1994

ACRF contributed $1.096 million in 1995 to the establishment of the Australian Cancer Foundation Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Queensland, where researchers work with others in the United States and Sweden to identify the gene involved in the most common form of cancer, a skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

Achievements

  • ACRF grant important in the formation of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience.
  • In 1996 IMB identified in association with BCC the PTCH1 gene, which involved in the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. The identification of this gene represented a fundamental advance in the understanding of cancer biology.
  • The team demonstrated that the PTCH1 gene for patched proteins is involved in many other forms of cancer, including the most common brain tumour in children (i.e. medulloblastoma).
  • Investigation of the hedgehog signalling cascade (HH pathway) associated with patched proteins which influence the differentiation of cells and tissues, and therefore play a pivotal role in the formation of a number of tumour types, most notably BCC’s of the skin. IMB demonstrated changes to the proteins in the HH pathway can cause BCC and some brain tumours.
  • Research into the changes in cell adhesion that lead to the invasiveness of melanoma cells.
  • The discovery of the gene SOX18 which is critical for the development of blood vessels which was shown to be involved in the growth and metastasis of tumours.
  • Investigation of the tumour suppressor gene WT1 which when mutated is involved in the childhood kidney cancer called Wilms’ tumour.
Other ACRF grants awarded to Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland
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