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ACRF gives $17 million to advance cancer research

December 10, 2015

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) announced its 2015 grant recipients at an awards ceremony in Sydney last night. This included one of the largest private grants for cancer research equipment in Australian history, the $10 million ACRF 30th anniversary grant.

The anniversary grant was awarded to The Children’s Medical Research Institute based in Sydney, for the establishment of The ACRF International Centre for the Proteome of Cancer (ProCan). This facility will enable the analysis of tens of thousands of samples of all types of cancers from all over the world. It will also allow scientists in Australia to develop a library of information to advance scientific discovery and enhance clinical treatment worldwide. The end result will be rapid and more accurate development and initiation of the most appropriate cancer treatments for each individual patient.

“Our 30th anniversary grant for $10 million is something ACRF is very excited about,” said Professor Ian Brown, CEO of ACRF. “We knew this amount of money could make a real difference, stimulate new ideas and bring us closer to ending cancer.”

“ACRF challenged the Australian cancer research community to propose projects that were bold and that would have a very significant impact on cancer prevention, detection and treatment. The response was tremendous with six very impressive projects submitted.”

Our international judges were impressed both by the quality and vision of the applications and the high standard of Australian research. CMRI was chosen after lengthy discussion to be the best of the best.”

In addition, Cancer Institute NSW will be supporting the project by funding a full time researcher at CMRI to operate the new technology.

The recipients of the annual ACRF grants in 2015 are:

  • The Australian Synchrotron ($2million) for the establishment of the ACRF Detector. The technology, which is available at only a handful of other synchrotron facilities around the world, will enable the shape and function of proteins to be analysed ten times faster, and more accurately, shortening the timeline from laboratory research to clinical trials of new cancer drugs.
  • The John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU ($2 million) for the establishment of the new ACRF Department of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics. The department will help to understand the underlying biology of cancer and to develop new drugs to treat Australian cancer patients. Research will focus on Australia’s Chemome (whole sets of small molecule natural products) and exploring the existing collections for novel lead compounds that can be developed into drugs for cancer therapy.
  • The Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB) in South Australia ($2 million) for the establishment of the world-class ACRF Cancer Discovery Accelerator facility in Adelaide. The centre aims to significantly enhance our understanding of fundamental cancer biology and translate these findings to improve outcomes for Australian cancer patients.
  • University of Queensland, Thoracic Research Centre ($1million) for the establishment of the ACRF Centre for Lung Cancer Early Detection. The Centre will conduct research into the discovery and development of innovative methods for detecting lung cancer as early as possible. Lung cancer remains a major worldwide cause of cancer deaths, and early detection will improve treatment outcomes and survival rates.

The recipient of 30th anniversary grant was selected by an international judging panel after a competitive application process. The four annual grant recipients were selected by the ACRF’s Medical Research Advisory Committee comprising eminent Australian and international cancer researchers and clinicians, chaired by Professor Ian Frazer.

Image left to right: ACRF Chairman Mr Tom Dery AO, Professor Phillip Robinson (Children’s Medical Research Institute, Sydney) and Professor Roger Reddel (Director, Children’s Medical Research Institute, Sydney).


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