Accelerating discovery towards cancer diagnosis and treatment

ACRF Trustee Mr Stephen Gerlach AM (centre) presents the grant to Greg Goodall and Angel Lopez from the CCBThe Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) has been awarded $2 million funding from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) to establish the world-class ACRF Cancer Discovery Accelerator facility in Adelaide. The grant was presented at the ACRF awards dinner in Sydney last night.

The new facility will house cutting-edge technologies currently unavailable in Australia, and will greatly expand the research expertise and capabilities in South Australia and across the continent.

The new technologies include the latest genome sequencing equipment and a super high resolution microscope, enabling researchers to develop powerful new methods for measuring proteins in individual cancer cells. The availability of the technologies within a single integrated facility will enhance technology uptake and ensure optimal application of these methodologies for the ultimate benefit of the end users – cancer patients.

CCB Co-Director Professor Angel Lopez says the ACRF Cancer Discovery Accelerator will be housed in UniSA’s new Health Innovation Building currently being constructed on North Terrace.

“We’re delighted to receive this funding from the ACRF which enables us to bring outstanding technology into South Australia to facilitate innovation and continue to be at the forefront of genomics research,” Prof Lopez says.

“The advanced technologies of the ACRF Cancer Discovery Accelerator will underpin core research streams at the CCB aimed at significantly enhancing our understanding of the causes of cancer and translating these findings into improving outcomes for patients with cancer.”

ACRF Chief Executive, Professor Ian Brown, says the ACRF is pleased to provide a single integrated facility that will enhance technology uptake in cancer research for the ultimate benefit of cancer patients.

“The CCB is conducting breakthrough research capitalising on genomics and various experimental models, which is fueling the discovery of genes proteins and regulatory RNAs (ribonucleic acids) which are natural suppressors of cancer,” Prof Brown says.

“Converting these discoveries into actionable targets for drugs is the goal of the project. The ACRF Cancer Discovery Accelerator will provide access to new methodologies for uncovering molecular mechanisms relevant to cancer and it will facilitate the transition of these discoveries into treatments that will benefit patients with all types of cancer. ”

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says the new facility will further position the CCB as a shining light in cancer research in Australia.

“The ultimate outcome is our researchers will have the best tools in their search for the best patient diagnostics and treatments,” Prof Lloyd says.

SA Pathology Executive Director Ken Barr says the funding is a coup for the CCB and South Australia.

“It recognises the important work that has been achieved by the CCB to date, while the new facility will help our researchers better understand how to tackle many forms of cancer at the cellular level,” he says.

The CCB is a Medical Research Institute created by an alliance between UniSA and SA Pathology.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation is Australia’s leading cancer charity, dedicated to finding cures for cancer by funding infrastructure and state-of-the-art equipment for world-class research into a disease that over 123,000 Australians are diagnosed with each year. Since 1984, the ACRF has awarded more than $120 million in cancer research grants which have helped to bring cancer research in Australia to an unprecedented level.

Media contact: Kelly Stone office (08) 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email Kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

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