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APCRC-Q Researchers awarded NHMRC and Cancer Council Queensland Grant Funding

APCRC-Q researchers have been awarded over $1.6 million in recent grant announcements. Professor Colleen Nelson and Dr Michael Doran each recently received highly sought-after National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Project Grants. DProf Judith Clements received an extension on her NHMRC Fellowship, and Prof Lisa Chopin has also been awarded a Cancer Council Queensland grant.

Prof Nelson was awarded $780,338 over the next three years to fund her research project entitled: ‘Targeting a master regulator of tumour cell plasticity as a new adjuvant therapy for prostate cancer’.

“Prostate cancer claims the lives of over 3,000 Australian men each year,” said Prof Nelson. “This highlights the urgent need to identify new molecular targets that can be developed as additional therapies for men with prostate cancer.”

“Our study aims to characterise the role of the protein Zeb1 in the lethal progression of prostate cancer and to develop a new therapeutic agent to inhibit the production of Zeb1 by cancer cells.”

Dr Doran’s project entitled: ‘The Microniche: A novel in vitro and in vivo prostate cancer model system’ was awarded $561,012 over three years.

“Maintaining primary prostate cancer cells in vitro remains an enormous challenge for the field, and this obstructs efforts to systematically characterize cell behaviour and quantify drug response,” Dr Doran explains.

“Our group recently developed a 3D organoid culture system that does maintain prostate cancer in vitro, and in this project we will integrate this technology with our 3D bone marrow niche model system to better characterize prostate cancer bone metastases and identify new clinical treatment regimes.”

APCRC-Q Scientific Director, DProf Judith Clements will also receive $150 660 for the sixth year of her ongoing NHMRC Research Fellowship for prostate and ovarian cancer research.

Professor Chopin will receive $200,000 over the next two years from the Cancer Council Queensland to fund her research into the ghrelin receptor antisense long non-coding RNA, GHSROS, as a potential target for prostate cancer therapy.

The 2015 NHMRC Grant Application Round has resulted in the commitment of more than $763 million to fund health and medical research, including 932 new grants to universities, medical research institutions and hospitals across Australia. A full list of results for the 2015 Round is available on the NHMRC website.