Researchers receive more than $40 million funding for cell studies

03 March 2016
Key Researchers
Prof Andreas Strasser
Professor Andreas Strasser and his team have received
almost $22 million for cancer research.
Research programs at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute that investigate abnormal cell death and abnormal cell proliferation, and their roles in the development of cancers and blood diseases, have received more than $40 million in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding.

Teams led by Professor Andreas Strasser and Professor Warren Alexander have each been awarded NHMRC Program Grants for their research, together receiving nearly $42 million in funding over five years.

Professor Strasser and his team have received close to $22 million to build on their groundbreaking work in understanding the mechanisms behind defects in apoptosis, or programmed cell death, which can cause cancers.

“Impaired apoptosis is essential for tumour development and imposes a barrier to successful cancer treatment,” Professor Strasser said.

“We will be extending our previous investigations in this area to determine how tumour cells acquire an unlimited growth potential. We aim to identify new ways of treating cancer by directly activating the programmed cell death machinery.”

Professor Alexander’s team, a collaboration between the institute and the John Curtin School of Medical Research, is building on its research into defining the genes and molecules responsible for blood cell renewal and immune cell production and function.

“These studies are crucial, not only for understanding the role of blood and immune cells in health, but for establishing the basis of blood cell disorders and for devising new treatments to fight these lethal diseases,” Professor Alexander said.

“Our research is aimed at translating our discoveries into improved health for patients with cancers of the blood, inflammatory and immune disorders.”

Institute director Professor Doug Hilton welcomed the NHMRC announcement.

“I am delighted the work of Professor Strasser and Professor Alexander has been secured for the next five years,” Professor Hilton said.

“This funding ensures the discoveries of these two established scientists and their teams can progress and build on our understanding of cancers and help us work towards better treatments.”


Further information:
Ebru Yaman
Media and Publications Manager
M: 0428 034 089
E: yaman.e@wehi.edu.au

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