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New weapon in the fight against cancer

The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) have teamed up to wage the war against cancer.

A multi-million dollar grant from the ACRF has provided QIMR scientists with the equipment they need to conduct world-first cancer research at the ACRF Centre for Cancer Epigenetics based at QIMR.

QIMR’s Professor Emma Whitelaw said the QIMR and ACRF Centre for Cancer Epigenetics team is working to identify new genes involved in a range of human cancers and study how environmental factors interact with DNA to cause cancer.

“Epigenetics is an exciting, emerging field and the ultimate aim of the Centre is to aid in providing information that may help in the development of therapies to maintain the health of genes and thus act as a preventative measure for cancer.

“Without ACRF’s support, QIMR would be unable to continue this research,” Professor Whitelaw said.

ACRF Chief Executive, David Brettell said the $2.7 million grant provides the Centre with the very best technology in the field of epigenetics.

“For all Australians, but especially for those with a strong family history of cancer, the research being undertaken at this new Centre is absolutely ground-breaking.

“Cancer affects one in three Australians and to realise that it might be preventable despite genetic susceptibilities – this is the sort of research that really gives people hope.

“We’re very confident that this fantastic research project is in safe hands. Professor Whitelaw, has this year been elected to the Australian Academy of Sciences, and was also awarded top honours internationally in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology.”

Every year, an independent committee of 13 esteemed Australian cancer researchers assesses up to $50 million in cancer research funding applications to receive ACRF’s support, and they only recommend projects that meet a world-class standard.