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Centenary Institute - Medical Research
Centenary Institute - Medical Research

Connecting with the community

Some of our leading cancer researchers, Professor Phil Hansbro, Professor Peter Hersey, Dr Mainthan Palendira and Dr Jessamy Tiffen have presented their project updates and recent findings to consumers and supporters at our recent consumer engagement session.

The projects, all funded by Cancer Council NSW, covered the critical health areas of melanoma (the most deadly form of skin cancer) and lung cancer.

The engagement sessions allow Centenary scientists to connect directly with the community and  ensures that consumers are an integral part of the total research process.

Updates provided at the session were: 

  • Professor Phil Hansbro, Centenary Institute Deputy Director and Head of the Centenary UTS Centre for Inflammation. Could our gut bacteria play a role in lung cancer?
  • Professor Peter Hersey, Head of the Melanoma Immunology and Oncology Program / Dr Helen McGuire (University of Sydney). Epigenetic targeting of T cell dysfunction in patients failing immunotherapy
  • Dr Mainthan Palendira, Head of the Human Viral and Cancer Immunology Laboratory. The role of tumour-resident CD8+ T cells in metastatic melanoma and immunotherapy
  • Dr Jessamy Tiffen, Senior Research Officer in the Melanoma Immunology and Oncology Program. Place your BETs – Discovering new drug combinations for melanoma treatment

The Centenary Institute would like to thank all consumers and attendees at this session for their interest in improving human health outcomes, and continuing support of our life-saving medical research activities. 

Centenary scientists recognised for their world-class cancer research

Pictured: Dr Justin Wong and Mr Kurtis Budden (who accepted on behalf of Professor Phil Hansbro) at the Awards Ceremony, March 14, 2019.

Cancer Council NSW has awarded funding to 13 ground-breaking cancer research projects including two to the Centenary Institute – Dr Justin Wong, Head of our Epigenetics and RNA Biology Program for his research ‘Understanding the mechanisms that cause acute myeloid leukaemia’ and Professor Phil Hansbro, Director of the Centenary UTS Centre for Inflammation for his project ‘Could our gut bacteria play a role in lung cancer?’

“We are extremely proud to announce another round of extraordinary projects in 2019. We are confident these projects will provide incredible value to cancer patients and continue to push our progress towards a cancer free future,” said Dr Jane Hobson, Research Grants Manager at Cancer Council NSW.

Funds have been awarded to projects deemed through peer review to be of the highest scientific merit; and through consumer review to be of the most value to the community supporting Cancer Council.

Read the full Cancer Council NSW media release

Learn more about the work of Professor Phil Hansbro and Dr Justin Wong.

New knowledge about a potential pathway for cancer therapies

Centenary Institute scientists have discovered dozens of new likely targets for a particular enzyme (FAP) that is within most tumours; paving the way for the future development of safer and more effective cancer therapies, including liver, lung, skin, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

Instead of affecting and interacting with just collagen, the researchers have used new technologies to identify 37 molecules which FAP likely modifies.

Co-lead author, Dr Hui Emma Zhang from the Centenary Institute, says this study not only reaffirms the value of FAP in cancer research, but it also provides new avenues through which scientists can target tumour growth.

“Given FAP is fairly unique to damaged cells when compared to healthy cells, the findings from our research will enhance the initial identification and imaging of tumours, as well as provide a safer and more targeted pathway through which anti-cancer therapies can be delivered,” says Dr Zhang.

See the full media release.

Read Identification of Novel Natural Substrates of Fibroblast Activation Protein-alpha by Differential Degradomics and Proteomics in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.

Pictured: A human liver tumour (large pale cells) surrounding a peninsular of stromal cells (dense blue), with FAP molecules stained dark brown.