Macquarie University partners in $19.3 million boost for translational cancer research

11 June 2014

Health Minister and Medical Research Minister Jillian Skinner has announced $19.3 million in funding for three new cancer research centres which will translate cancer research into patient care.

The three new research hubs will join four already operating in NSW through the Cancer Institute NSW Translational Cancer Research Program.

Researchers from Macquarie University will work closely together with fellow research institutions at the new Northern Translational Cancer Research Centre, which has been awarded $6.3 million in funding.

“We are excited by the 5 year funding of the Centre which the Australian Proteome Analysis Facility (APAF) will support by providing sophisticated protein-based analyses of cancers. Our expertise will help to identify diagnostic and treatment biomarkers, better understand and overcome mechanisms of drug-resistance and support investigations of new treatments” said APAF Director, Associate Professor Mark Molloy.

“Moreover, Macquarie University has numerous research strengths in cancer aligned disciplines and this new Centre can be used as a catalyst for both internal and external engagement focused on improving outcomes for patients”

The three new Translational Cancer Research Centres will continue to bring together researchers with clinicians from Local Health Districts to collaborate on cancer programs.

Their work will cover a broad spectrum, from research into how cancers work and developing treatments and interventions to translating the knowledge gained into clinical practice and testing the effectiveness of these treatments through clinical trials.

“I am proud this investment of $19.3 million by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will ensure our state continues to lead the way in improving outcomes for people diagnosed with cancer,” Mrs Skinner said.

“It is vital we ensure benchtop research meets the bedside needs of people affected by cancer in NSW.

“NSW’s translational cancer research program facilitates cutting-edge discoveries that will see the rapid translation of research into real outcomes for people with cancer.”

NSW Chief Cancer Officer and Cancer Institute NSW chief executive Professor David Currow said today is an important day for cancer research in NSW.

“Cancer is not one disease but many different diseases. By uniting researchers through this Translational Cancer Research Program, we are giving NSW the best chance to understand how different cancers work and develop targeted new treatments,” Professor Currow said.

“More importantly, outcomes can be translated rapidly from bench to bedside, improving outcomes for the close to 40,000 people in NSW diagnosed with cancer each year.”

The $19.3 million funds three new Cancer Institute NSW Translational Cancer Research Centres over five years. They are:

  • Hunter Cancer Research Alliance ($6.5 million): a collaboration between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Local Health District and Hunter Medical Research Institute.
  • Centre for Oncology Education and Research Translation ($6.5 million): a collaboration between South Western Sydney Local Health District, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and ACT Health.
  • Northern Translational Cancer Research Centre ($6.3 million): researchers from the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, Mater Hospital, Macquarie University and Sydney University will work closely together to bring new cancer investigations and treatments into routine practice.

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