The Westmead Institute for Cancer Research

  • Research Institute: Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney

  • Amount granted: $1.02 million

  • Year granted: 1997

ACRF awarded the Westmead Institute $1.02 million as part of an $8.75 million project to build an integrated research centre at the Westmead Hospital in Sydney

The overall research directions of the Westmead Institute are the genetic, molecular and cellular basis of virus infections, the immune response, cancer and liver diseases. The principal research technologies centre on molecular and cell biological techniques. These themes are directed to address disease pathogenesis.

The Westmead Institute of Cancer Research is involved in research into a number of important cancers and has been acknowledged as an international leader in melanoma studies – particularly identifying genes linked with melanoma.


  • Establishment of a world-class research institute at Westmead.
  • Although with the main focus on melanoma and skin cancers, the Institute conducts research programs investigating ovarian and bowel cancers and leukaemia.
  • Revealed how the APC protein within cells in bowel cancer, can influence other cancer­ associated proteins and ultimately tumour progression.
  • Successfully developed cell culture models for breast cancer to show how female hormones influence the growth of breast cancer.
  • Extensively examined the testing of new candidate susceptibility genes in melanoma, and successfully demonstrated the close interaction between melanoma genes and sunlight.
  • Identifying the manner by which leukaemic cells interact with the normal bone marrow.
  • Characterised the novel genes that alter sensitivity to the ovarian cancer drug, cisplatin.
Other ACRF grants awarded to Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney
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