Two Centenary Institute researchers have successfully received funding grants through the Perpetual 2019 IMPACT Philanthropy program.
Prof Warwick Britton, Head of the Centenary Tuberculosis Program received funding for his project ‘Visualising how the immune system controls infection and inflammation.’
By using new imaging techniques, he hopes to be able to visualise how the immune system provokes a chronic inflammatory response in infected tissues during TB and leprosy and during immunotherapy, which can cause damage to the lung.
“Both tuberculosis and leprosy are diseases caused by the person’s immediate system reacting to the causative mycobacteria, damaging the lungs and skin/nerves respectively. Understanding how the immune cells cause this damage will help us prevent the permanent damage from these diseases. The funding from Perpetual Trustees will help us to analyse the interaction between immune cells in biopsy samples from TB and leprosy patients. This will utilise newly developed techniques using multiple antibodies to label the different immune cells in biopsy samples. The studies will be done in collaboration with clinicians in Sydney, Sri Lanka and China,” explained Prof Britton.
Dr Hui Emma Zhang received funding for her project titled, ‘Targeting unique enzyme activities for a novel therapy for liver cancer.’
“This funding will greatly facilitate my research on liver cancer, which is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. This funding will help me set up mouse models that recapitulate human liver cancer and evaluate the potential therapeutic benefit of novel drugs that target proteases in the liver,” says Dr Zhang.
The Perpetual 2019 IMPACT Philanthropy program distributes more than $100m annually from charitable trusts and endowments.
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Professor John Rasko AO has led a world-first clinical trial into engineered stem cell treatment use, treating 15 patients with steroid resistant acute graft-versus-host disease.
Centenary Institute research has discovered that the lack of an enzyme in the liver called sphingosine kinase 2 results in pronounced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, both symptoms of early stage type 2 diabetes.