Thanks to a $2 million ACRF grant, these new divisions will expand the institute’s current cancer research into the causes and treatments for some of the most prevalent cancers in Australia.
In particular the ACRF Stem Cells and Cancer Division will study the biology of epithelial cancers – which account for 80% of human cancers – including breast, lung and ovarian cancers.
“Lung cancer is the greatest cause of cancer-related death in Australians, while breast cancer is a leading cause of mortality in women,” said Professor Geoff Lindeman (pictured, middle), lead researcher within this WEHI division, and ACRF Medical Research Advisory Committee member.
“These are diseases that are very prevalent, and patients need better treatments.”
Similarly, more research is needed into ovarian cancer, which is poorly understood and for which the outlook for patients is very poor. The ACRF’s contribution will significantly aid researchers in understanding how these cancers develop, and allow the discovery of new treatment strategies.
The second facility – the ACRF Chemical Biology Division – will enable the investigation of new medications for these cancers, as well as leukaemia. Head of the ACRF Chemical Biology Division, Professor David Huang (pictured, right) has said:
“The institute has many scientists investigating how cancers might be better treated. Our division will use this knowledge to develop medications that have the potential to be used as new anti-cancer agents.”
ACRF Chairman, Mr Tom Dery has also acknowledged the incredible research outcomes that have been made possible through this world-class cancer research institute.
“We have been proud to support successful research projects at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in the past,” he said.
“This research has been across the spectrum, from investigating the underlying molecular defects in cancer, through to the development of new anti-cancer agents.”
Guests of the Official Opening today have been treated to a private tour of the new facilities. We look forward to hearing more about the research outcomes at WEHI which will undoubtedly improve the outlook for patients and their families in the near future.
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