Childrens Medical Research Institute & University of Newcastle

Amount granted: $3.1 millioncmri-uon-research-team_full-size
For: Equipment
Chief investigators: Prof Phil Robinson, Assoc Prof Adam McCluskey, Prof Roger Reddel
Cancer types: All cancers
Proposed name of facility: ACRF Chemical Proteomics Centre for Kinomics (CFK)

Project description: This joint application/enterprise, (who have a proven strong cancer research track record) is requesting funds to purchase equipment and build two dedicated ACRF badged laboratories for what the applicant says will be the world’s first Chemical Proteomics Centre for Kinomics (CFK).

Kinomics is a new discipline, not yet available in Australia. It comprises a very simple, yet rapid, large-scale, high-throughput screening to study the entire “kinome” – that is, all of the protein kinases which are expressed in a cell at a given point in time. Kinomics is a merger between genomics and proteomics.

Kinases are one of the most important classes of protein in cells. They play a role in cellular signalling, regulating everything from cell growth to inflammation. But, more importantly, when their function goes awry, kinases have been implicated in certain human cancers. Because of this role in cancer, kinases have become a priority for new drug targets.

Kinomics is able to rapidly, accurately and systematically explore and classify therapeutically relevant protein kinase targets for drug discovery.

The proposed major expansion of the Medicinal Chemical and Mass Spectrometry capabilities at CMRI, will create a new national centre for Kinomics – a new discipline not yet available in Australia.

It seeks critical new infrastructure to create new synergies accelerating cancer research at many national centres and ultimately seek to deliver kinomics supplies and services to the Australian cancer research community.

But how this new science is being used, differs from researcher to researcher. And, of course, the technologies they use also differ. Defining the kinase part of the human genome, the kinome, has provided an excellent starting point for the understanding of small molecules and targets, and thereby assists the researcher in finding new targets for existing molecules or understanding selectivity.

Deciphering the complex network of signalling is necessary for a thorough understanding of the functioning of a cell.