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Centenary Institute - Medical Research
Centenary Institute - Medical Research

ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre

After centuries of cancer devastating almost half the population, the last decades of cancer research have brought unprecedented insights into the causation and treatment of this disease.

Some cancers now have effective treatments, but some of the most devastating are mostly untreatable, such as pancreatic, ovarian and brain cancer. A feature of these cancers is their link to our diet and our bodies metabolism. For instance, about 40% of endometrial cancer is attributed to obesity.

Our goal at the ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre is to understand the link between diet, metabolism and tumour initiation and development at a molecular level, and to design new therapies using this knowledge.

Centenary brings basic research excellence to clinical utility, specializing in its three core competencies of cancer, chronic inflammation and cardiovascular diseases. Our exceptional skills in the burgeoning area of metabolism and cancer and this will continue to be the scientific focus of this program.

In partnership with the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and Sydney Catalyst, the new ACRF-Centenary Cancer Research Centre expands the capabilities of Centenary’s cancer research stream. The Centre has four core strategic aims: i) making key discoveries about disease mechanisms; ii) their effective translation into the clinic; iii) catalyzing medical research by collaborations and iv) local and international recognition.

The Centre is located within the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre and will be the first dedicated cancer biology research centre in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the University of Sydney Precinct – a health precinct which is technically excellent, clinically innovative and directly connected to patients.

A core and unique focus of the Centre is to understand the link between our diet, our bodies metabolism and cancer. With new state-of-the-art equipment and some of the best intellectual expertise in the country, this well-positions Centenary and its collaborators and stakeholders to make significant advances in this research area.

The ACRF Centenary Cancer Research Centre and the ACRF Tumour Metabolism Laboratory are proudly supported by Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

 

     

 

Learn more about Cancer Research.

Professor Philip Hogg, Head of Program

Sydney Catalyst Chair in Translational Cancer Research

Prof Philip Hogg graduated with a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Queensland in 1987. Following post-doctoral training in the USA and Sweden he returned to UNSW as a NHMRC RD Wright Fellow. He is now a NHMRC Senior Principle Research Fellow and was the inaugural director of the Lowy Cancer Research Centre at UNSW. He has won several national and international awards for his research, which focuses on a fundamental chemical modification of proteins he discovered. This research has led to a potential new cancer diagnostic and a therapeutic that are in clinical testing.

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Directed Evolution

In the Directed Evolution laboratory, we harness the power of Darwinian selection to evolve proteins with new therapeutic activities. Starting with unique proteins from all domains of life on earth we aim to produce first-in-class or vastly improved drugs for intractable diseases.

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic we are applying our expertise to the production of novel virus neutralising therapies.

Key Project and COVID-19

We are applying our expertise in protein evolution (the engineering of new proteins with new traits) to look at developing a novel SARS COVID-2 neutralising therapy. This consists of the production of new proteins that are able to disrupt the process of how the SARS COVID-2 virus is able to attach itself to, and then enter human cells. Disrupting this process would prevent viral replication and resulting disease progression.

Lipid Metabolism and Neurochemistry

In the Lipid Metabolism and Neurochemistry lab, we use sophisticated mass spectrometry platforms, mouse and cell culture models, and modern biochemistry to investigate how altered lipid metabolism underpins the development of Alzheimer’s and metabolic disease (obesity). Mutations in lipid metabolic genes are a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s and there is significant evidence to indicate that Alzheimer’s is a metabolic disease at the molecular level.

We also collaborate with research groups both locally and internationally investigating how altered lipid metabolism contributes to cancer pathogenesis.