NSW Cancer Research Achievements Report 2009
The Cancer Institute NSW is now in its sixth year of operation and our expenditure on cancer research has grown significantly over this period.
We focus on supporting research that is closely linked to improving clinical practice and patient health outcomes in the most effective and timely manner. We pursue the development of new funding streams that will bring researchers and clinicians together in collaborative research ventures that are rapidly incorporating evidence-based medicine into practice. In this way, we hope to ensure the highest standard of care for NSW cancer patients.
Contributing to the international fight against cancer
Cancer research has become a truly global enterprise. The complexity of the disease makes it impossible for any single institution, or even country, to succeed on their own in unravelling the still immense obstacles in the fight against cancer.
It is critical for NSW-based researchers to be closely linked to, and cognisant of, the latest developments occurring overseas so that our State can build upon and use these advances in controlling and treating cancer. Our research grant schemes are designed to enable these vital collaborations so that we ensure our research effort remains world class.
Similarly, it is critically important that our researchers have access to state-of-the-art research infrastructure in order to exploit fully the most recent advances in cancer research. We support research platforms that provide access to vital equipment for a large number of research groups - enabling the pooling of resources and leveraging of other funding sources.
Investing in our researchers
2008-09 was a year of funding consolidation as it saw the peak of recurrent funding from previous years' grant allocations, thus limiting the capacity to launch major new programs. Nonetheless, 67 grants were awarded, covering all four strategic funding areas and a total of $15 million in new funding was committed.
Celebrating the achievements of our researchers
We are proud to be associated with some of the best cancer researchers in Australia. Many of them are featured in this report and celebrated at the Premier's Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research.
Some of the results our researchers have achieved this year include:
- Professor Levon Khachigian (featured on page 19) from the University of New South Wales was recently awarded a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australia Fellowship. The Fellowship is worth $4 million in support of his work to uncover new processes that govern the expression of disease-causing genes; and to further develop a new class of experimental drug that has the potential to treat a diverse range of health problems, from cancer and inflammation through to eye and heart disease. The Cancer Institute NSW is supporting Professor Khachigian's work through a translational research program grant.
- Previous award winner for Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow of the Year, Associate Professor Andrew Biankin's team at the Garvan Institute for Medical Research received funding from the NHMRC to take part in the International Cancer Genome Consortium project. This is a global project aimed at understanding the genetic changes underpinning the 50 most common cancer types. The Cancer Institute NSW is providing crucial career support funding for A/Prof Biankin and members of his team.
Celebrating outstanding contributions to cancer research in NSW
The NSW Premier's Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research were established in 2006 to acknowledge the achievements and commitment of NSW cancer researchers at all levels. There have been three categories awarded each year:
- Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year.
- Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow of the Year.
- Outstanding Cancer Research Scholar of the Year.
The Outstanding Cancer Researcher of the Year honours an individual who has made significant and fundamental contributions to any field of cancer research in NSW. These contributions must have had a lasting impact on the cancer field and must have demonstrated sustained progress against cancer.