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University of Sydney wins $19m in Cancer Institute NSW grants

9 June 2016
University of Sydney cancer researchers win half of all grants and funds awarded.

The Cancer Institute NSW has awarded $19 million to University of Sydney scholars to advance fundamental and applied research, support the careers of promising researchers, and improve research infrastructure. 

University of Sydney scholars won 17 of the 34 grants and 50 percent of the $38 million funds awarded by Cancer Institute NSW.

Future Research Leader Fellow Dr Mark Larance was awarded $1 million and is returning from the UK’s University of Dundee to the University of Sydney to investigate how programs of intermittent fasting can assist with the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Career Development Fellow grant winner, Associate Professor Anne Cust – who first proved links between tanning beds and melanomas – is embarking on a new project to improve the disease’s treatment and prevention.

Career Development Fellow grant winner, Dr Lenka Munoz was awarded $592,000 to progress her research on understanding the signaling mechanisms that cause inflammatory and malignant cancers, including glioblastoma.

The university’ four Early Career Fellows – Dr Angelica Marie Merlot, Dr James Wilmott, Dr Ben Roediger (Centenary Institute and Honorary Associate,  University of Sydney) and Dr Phillip Fromm at the ANZAC Research Institute’s Dendritic Cell Research group – won a total of $2 million. These grants aim to encourage the best researchers with no more than five years post-doctoral experience to choose cancer as their selected field of research.

The largest funding sums awarded to University of Sydney researchers is intended to progress the work of Translational Cancer Research Centres. These grants were made to Professor John Simes ($6.5m) Director, NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and Program Director, Sydney Catalyst Translational Research Centre, and medical oncologist, Associate Professor Paul Harnett, Director, Director, Sydney West Cancer Network ($6.49m).

Eight researchers were awarded a total of $2.3 million in Research Infrastructure Grants aimed at supporting research platforms, core equipment and overall cancer research efforts. The University’s Research Infrastructure Grant recipients are: Professor Roger Reddel, Professor Anna de Fazio, Professor Des Richardson, Professor Graham Mann, Associate Professor Anthony Gill, Professor Christine Clarke, Professor Wolfgang Weninger, and Dr Steven Kao, who has appointments at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and the Asbestos Diseases Research Institute.

Overall, The Cancer Institute NSW allocated a total of $9.5 million to support the careers of cancer researchers, $3.8 million for research infrastructure and $25.9 million to support the state’s translational cancer research centres to advance research from bench to bedside.

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