Introducing the researchers you're funding

Monday 18 March, 2019

Thanks to your support, $3 million has been allocated to 11 new world-class research projects in Victoria this year.

Each researcher is passionate about saving lives and improving the health of cancer survivors.

We only accept the best of the best applications – Cancer Council works in partnership with the National Health and Medical Research Council every year to conduct a rigorous peer-review process of all projects.

These research projects make up a fraction of over $20 million which is invested into cancer research every year because of our supporters, so thank you.

Prof Robin Anderson

Prof Robin Anderson

Prof Robin Anderson

Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre Research Institute | 2019–2021 | Breast cancer

This study aims to reduce the likelihood of breast cancer spreading to other areas of the body.

"I am in the demographic that is most likely to develop breast cancer and have friends and family living with or having died from this disease.” –  Prof Anderson

Dr James Dowty

University of Melbourne | 2019–2020 | Colon cancer

This study applies a new statistical method of searching DNA ‘marks’ (currently used in breast cancer) to understand the hereditary risk of colon cancer.

“It is very morally satisfying to contribute to the global fight against cancer in a way that will benefit future cancer patients.” – Dr Dowty

Prof. Thomas Gebhardt

University of Melbourne | 2019–2021 | Skin cancer

Professor Gebhardt's study will enhance our understanding of how to harness our immune system to fight melanoma.

“I feel that we are only a very few steps away from making immunotherapies even more efficacious and safer."  –  Prof. Gebhardt

Dr Simon Keam

Dr Simon Keam

Dr Simon Keam

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre | 2019–2021 | Prostate cancer

This study on prostate cancer will improve radiation therapy by understanding why some patients develop a resistance to it.

“Eliminating the source of pain, distress, and needless loss is at the heart of why I undertake cancer research.”  – Dr Keam

Prof. Matt Watt

University of Melbourne | 2019-2021 | Prostate cancer

Professor Watt is further investigating prostate cancer treatments which slow tumour progression and improve patients' prognosis.

“Given my expertise in metabolism and experience in research, I feel compelled to find ways to slow this disease.”  –  Prof. Watt

Prof. Louise Purton

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research | 2019-2021 | Leukaemia

This project is an initial study of specific drugs that show promise for treating myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), which can lead to leukaemia.

“There is a need to identify better treatments for patients with MDS to provide them with a chance for a cure.”  –  Prof. Purton

Prof. John Mariadason

Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre Research Institute | 2019-2021 | Bowel cancer

Professor Mariadson is building on previous studies of how some bowel cancer cells grow and spread, in order to develop a new treatment.

“My motivation is to use my knowledge and experience to reduce the suffering of cancer patients by developing new, meaningful treatments.”  –  Prof. Mariadason

Investing in low survival cancers

Dr Lorraine O'Reilly

Dr Lorraine O'Reilly

Dr Lorraine O’Reilly

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research | 2019-2021 | Stomach cancer

This study looks at improving a therapy for stomach cancer by addressing its severe side-effects.

“I have had many family members succumb to cancer and related diseases. Most influential was the death of my cousin at the age of 16.”  –  Dr O'Reilly

Prof. Andrew Scott

La Trobe University | 2019-2020 | Brain cancer

Professor Scott's project aims to adapt an existing brain cancer treatment so it will also enhance patients' immune systems.

“New therapies for brain cancer are urgently required, due to the lack of treatment options and poor outcomes for many patients.”  –  Prof. Scott

Prof. Neil O'Brien-Simpson

University of Melbourne | 2019-2021 | Oral and oesophageal cancers

This project aims to improve vaccines for oral and oesophageal cancers, and in the process, could further our understanding of all cancer vaccines.

“I have, like many people, had direct experiences with cancer; family members have survived, died or are currently undergoing treatment.”  –  Prof. O'Brien-Simpson

Dr Lev Kats

University of Melbourne | 2019-2021 | Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Dr Kats' study attempts to find more effective therapies for targeting Acute Myeloid Leukaemia by building on previous studies.

“My goal in the long term is to make significant contributions that will be of benefit to public health in Australia and worldwide.”  –  Dr Kats

Three additional projects have just been announced to find better treatments for lung, gastric and oesophageal cancers. The Victorian government will fund these as part of our Forgotten Cancers Program.