Research Centres - Westmead campus

Members of The University of Sydney Cancer Research Network who are located at the Westmead campus work in the following Research Centres.

Westmead Institute for Cancer Research (WICR)

The Westmead Institute for Cancer Research, located at Westmead Millennium Institute, is directed by Professor Richard Kefford. WICR conducts research into the molecular and cellular basis of human cancer (breast cancer, melanoma and other skin cancers, ovarian cancer and bowel cancer) and leukaemia. The research of WICR is focused on understanding cell growth, cell defences against cancer-causing DNA toxins, immunological defence against cancer, the relationships between viruses and cancer, and the genetic foundations of the disease.

Researchers at WICR were a major partner in the matching and characterisation of the genes that make people susceptible to melanoma. In addition, the unit has shown new ways that hormones regulate breast cancers, and the Familial cancer laboratory is one the main centres for Australian collaborative work on the genes that make women susceptible to breast cancer. Research groups within the Westmead Institute for

Cancer Research include:

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Oncology Research Unit (ORU)

The The Oncology Research Unit (ORU) at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, led by Professor Peter Gunning, has research programs focusing on childhood malignancies such as neuroblastoma, brain tumours, and acute lymphoblastic and non-lymphoblastic leukaemia. These programs have been developed in association with the clinical Oncology Unit at the Hospital and cover the following areas: Bone Marrow Gene Therapy, Brain Tumour Diagnostics, Cancer Cell Structure and Diagnostics, Clinical Studies and Trials (see the Oncology Unit), Confocal Microscope Cancer Imaging, Focal Adhesion, Biology in Cancer, Gene Activity Screening - High throughput genomics (Microarray technology), Gene Discovery, Late Effects Research - clinical monitoring and research of the long-term effects of treatment (see the Oncology Unit) and The Paediatric Tumour Bank.

Children’s Medical Research Institute, Cancer Research Unit

The Children’s Medical Research Institute, located adjacent to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, performs scientific research with a commitment to better treat, and where possible, prevent childhood illness and disability so that all concerned have a better quality of life. The Cancer Research Unit at the Children’s Medical Research Institute is directed by Professor Roger Reddell. The unit studies the process of immortalisation in order to make it possible to develop effective new forms of anticancer treatment. Normal somatic cells are not immortal, so a detailed understanding of immortalisation should make it possible to develop therapies that target cancer cells but not normal cells. Such therapies should have far fewer side effects than most of the cancer treatments that are currently available. Specific areas of research include telomerase, alternative lengthening of telomeres, key tumour suppressor genes, identification of other genes, and stanniocalcins.