11 June 2014

Prof Angel LopezLeading Adelaide cancer scientist Professor Angel Lopez will be honoured for research excellence at the highest level at the National Health and Medical Research Council’s 200th Council Dinner in Canberra tonight (June 11).

Co-Director of the Centre for Cancer Biology, Prof Lopez will be presented with a NHMRC Research Excellence Award – recognising the top-ranked Program Grant for the year – by Federal Minister for Health Peter Dutton.

The NHMRC Research Excellence Awards are presented to the top-ranked applicants across NHMRC’s funding schemes. Prof Lopez is among 20 recipients nationally whose work aims to deliver breakthroughs in some of society’s biggest health challenges of the 21st century.

NHMRC CEO Prof Warwick Anderson will use the dinner to praise the quality of research being undertaken by all awardees, including Prof Lopez.

Prof Lopez is the head of the Cytokine Receptor Laboratory at the CCB, a partnership between the University of South Australia and SA Health.

The CCB was awarded a $6.67 million NHMRC Program Grant over five years in February to lead vital new research into leukaemia. Prof Lopez and his colleagues Prof Timothy Hughes (CCB) and Prof Michael Parker (St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne) are using the grant to address the progression of leukaemia and relapse by comparing the function of normal blood cells and leukaemia cells, and seek to create new knowledge, identify new drug targets and develop new drugs for the treatment of leukaemia.

Prof Lopez says he is honoured to receive the NHMRC Research Excellence Award. He says the size and duration of the Program Grant makes a big difference to what scientists can achieve.

“Cancer is the biggest health problem the world over,” Prof Lopez says.

 “To have support for our research collaboration for the next five years is really vital because it provides stability that allows us to take risks and think outside the square, while giving us time to translate our fundamental research right through to better clinical practices.

“This research is part of the vanguard work in cancer treatment which seeks to identify how to better target the cancer to prevent disease progression – so we work to understand what is particularly going wrong in the cancer cells.”

UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd congratulated Prof Lopez on the NHMRC Research Excellence Award.

“Having the top-ranked NHMRC Program Grant for the year is a stellar achievement and is testimony to Prof Lopez’s passion for innovation in cancer research,” Prof Lloyd says.

“UniSA takes pride in the CCB’s research success and looks forward to supporting innovation in cancer research through our partnership into the future.”

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

Other articles you may be interested in