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Hollier's Grant Success

Early Career Smart Futures Fellowship awarded to Dr Brett Hollier of APCRC - Q.

Recently, Dr Brett Hollier, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland, received $180,000 over 3 years in new funding from the Queensland Government’s Smart Futures Fund as part of the Early Career Smart Futures Fellowship.

Dr Hollier’s project is entitled “Smarter Targeted Cancer Therapies for a Healthier Queensland” and will build upon existing Queensland research by developing new targeted therapeutics designed to stop cancers such as breast, prostate cancer and melanoma from progressing.

This grant will enable the researcher to continue investigating strategies to inhibit proteins associated with the process of cancer cell migration by targeting multi-protein growth factor complexes.

“We’ll look at how the proteins affect genes inside cancer cells, how to block association of these proteins as well as developing an antibody to simultaneously block the receptors that the proteins activate on the surface of cancer cells,” Dr Hollier said.

After a 2 year postdoctoral position at the M.D Anderson Cancer Centre (MDACC) in Houston, Texas, investigating the role of EMT in cancer stem cells and breast cancer metastasis, Dr Hollier returned to Australia and joined the Tissue Repair and Regeneration (TRR) program within the Institute of Health and Biomedical (IHBI, QUT) and has recently become an active member of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre – Queensland as a Senior Research Fellow.

An early career researcher with an interest in understanding the mechanisms that mediate cancer metastasis, his research focuses on the Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) family and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program.

Dr Hollier said it was hoped that new therapeutics would eventually be able to stop the progression of a range of pre-existing cancers to improve patient outcomes.

Dr Hollier was one of only two QUT researchers to receive this grant which was officially announced at BIO 2012 held in Boston (USA) in June.

This research aims to improve the health outcomes of Queenslanders battling cancer and reduce the burden of cancer on the individual and society.