The Medical Genome Centre

  • Research Institute: Australian National University

  • Amount granted: $1 million

  • Year granted: 1997

ACRF awarded the John Curtin School of Medical Research of $1 million to establish a genetics laboratory for research into induced single gene mutation models of human cancers.

The grant has been used to create a “genetic library” to help identify cancer genes. The aim is to identify genes that are important in controlling cancer and cancer cells, for example, genes regulating cell migration, regulating DNA repair and regulating immunity to cancer cells. By identifying genes that are critical cancer-regulator genes, those genes can then be used for prevention, early diagnosis and cure.

Achievements

  • Establishment of an international centre to expand understanding of the genome and how it encodes for our body’s health and its capacity to respond to stress.
  • The discovery in 2003 of the critical gene, Carma-1, which is essential for mobilizing attacks by T cells and B cells in the immune system.
  • A major goal of cancer immunotherapy is to mobilize T cells against cancer cell components by co-stimulating the T cells through specific receptors. Carma-1 is central to T cell co-stimulation.
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