The Drug Discovery Group combines expertise in cancer biology with drug discovery.
Our drug discovery focuses on two areas:
- The chemistry and manufacturing aspects of the novel anticancer drug, EBC-46. This includes devising and testing a satisfactory formulation for formal toxicology, prior to clinical trial.
- Development of suitable assays for primary screening of a rain forest plant extract library, looking for anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities.
This laboratory has access to:
- a unique library of natural products from the rainforest of northern Australia, some with potential for treatment of various types of cancer
- a selected set of human tumour cell lines for discovery and evaluation of new anti-cancer agents
- functional biological assays to determine efficacy of novel compounds for anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic activities.
Our cancer biology work currently focuses on understanding the development and progression of cancers of the skin and oral cavity. Specifically, we are investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in the progression and metastasis of melanoma, head and neck cancer, as well as cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. The identification and understanding of aberrantly regulated pathways in these cancers is crucial prior to the design or identification of suitable agents to treat the diseases. Our research programs are synergistic and complementary.
Please note: EBC-46 clinical trials are not being conducted by QIMR Berghofer laboratories. For any details about clinical trials visit the QBiotics website.
EBC-46 is extracted and purified from Fontainea picrosperma, a native tropical rainforest plant only found on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. It is not a domesticated species and is not available for sale.
Group Leader: Professor Peter Parsons
- Dr Graeme Walker, Senior Research Fellow
- Dr Herlina Handoko, Senior Research Officer
- Dr Glen Boyle, Group Leader
- Carly Pierce, Research Assistant
- Blake Ferguson, Research Assistant
- Dr Timothy Warren, PhD Student
If you wish to apply for QIMR Berghofer's student program,
click here for more information.