Funding flows for Dr Brett Hollier and Dr Brian Tse

Two APCRC-Q researchers, Dr Brett Hollier and Dr Brian Tse, recently enjoyed funding success.

Dr Brett Hollier was awarded a project grant from Cancer Australia, as well as an Endeavour Research Fellowship.

Dr Hollier’s project, entitled: Targeting neuropilin-1 to inhibit prostate cancer metastasis and therapy resistance, was awarded $200,000 over two years from Cancer Australia and funding partners Cure Cancer Australia Foundation and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

“I am delighted to be a recipient of this award,” said Dr Hollier, “The project aims to deliver an alternative treatment modality that can be used alone or in combination with current standard of care treatments to improve outcomes for patients with advanced prostate cancer.”

This study will pave the way for larger scale preclinical and clinical trials in the prostate cancer setting, with the ultimate goal of accelerating the translation of therapeutics into the clinic for prostate cancer patients.

“I am also very pleased to receive an Endeavour Research Fellowship from the Australian Government,” added Dr Hollier. “It will allow me to undertake a four month exchange visit to the world-renowned Vancouver Prostate Centre under the supervision of Professor Ralph Buttyan.

“During this exchange I will conduct research to better understand key biological processes underpinning the transition of prostate cancer from a relatively indolent and curable state into one that is resistant to contemporary therapies and the major cause of mortality.

“This research brings together two innovative and unique models of epithelial plasticity developed by myself and Professor Buttyan to provide a first ever analysis of critical tumour cell adaptive responses to anti-cancer therapies. My exchange visit to Professor Buttyan’s laboratory will be critical for initiating this synergistic program of research.”

This exchange programme will continue APCRC-Q’s strong commitment to strengthening collaborative links with internationally recognised investigators to deliver significant high impact research outcomes.

US Department of Defense Postdoctoral Training Award for Dr Tse

Dr Brian Tse successfully secured a Postdoctoral Training Award from the United States Department of Defense for his project entitled: "Developing a Novel Therapeutic Strategy Targeting Kallikrein-4 to Inhibit Prostate Cancer Growth and Metastasis.”

“I am very pleased to receive this award,” said Dr Tse, “It will facilitate the achievement of my aim to improve the clinical management of prostate cancer by developing a highly unique and novel form of cancer therapy that will prevent prostate cancers from spreading, and stop them from becoming more aggressive.

“Under the guidance of my mentors, Professor Pamela Russell, and Distinguished Professor Judith Clements, I will be investigating new therapies involving functionally inhibiting the serine protease, KLK4, which has been found to play a role in prostate cancer “homing” to bone. By inhibiting the actions of KLK4, we aim to prevent the spread of prostate cancer to the bone and other anatomical sites.

“What’s more, our approach is designed to target prostate cancer cells only, thus lowering the risk of side effects that are common for conventional chemotherapies where all cells of the body are subjected to the drug,” he added.

Dr Tse is the second APCRC-Q postdoctoral fellow (after Dr Carolina Soekmadji) to receive one of these highly sought-after and competitive awards.