Our Venture Grants Scheme is an innovative research program that funds high risk, high reward research projects that could lead to major leaps forward in our understanding and treatment of cancer. These projects are 100 percent funded by donors and given their pioneering nature, would not have attracted conventional funding.
After a rigorous selection process, our Venture Grants Committee chose four projects out of 89 applications that they believe have the potential for significant breakthrough.
Each of these projects went through a peer review process and met the following criteria:
- Potential to significantly change our thinking about the causes, prevention, detection, treatment or management of cancers. We want big ideas about improving outcomes for cancer patients and/or benefits for the community at large.
- Demonstration of exceptional innovation in the approach, and with sufficient risk as to make the application unlikely to be funded through conventional grant schemes.
- Project proposal that has a sound hypothesis, scientific rigour and feasible experimental design. As a whole, the research team will be considered capable of world-leading research outcomes.
- Appropriate and clear research milestones in which to assess progress. Each project will be monitored on the basis of expressed milestones, and decisions to continue funding will depend upon meeting these milestones.
The research projects began in 2015 and will continue under the current Venture Grants Scheme funding until 2018.
The successful researchers are known as Metcalf Venture Grants recipients to honor the late Professor Don Metcalf AC's commitment to and achievements in cancer research.
A vision of the cancer landscape in 10 years
Project one: Discovering new therapies to eradicate cancer stem cells
Associate Professor Mark Dawson, Dr Marnie Blewitt and Dr Chris Burns.
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.
"Only by peering into the mechanics of cancer initiation and progression will we uncover frailties that may lead to therapeutic progress." - Associate Professor Dawson
Project two: Identification of new therapeutic strategies for aggressive breast cancer
Professor Roger Daly, Professor Vinod Ganju, Cancer Council's Colebatch Fellow Associate Professor Sherene Loi, Associate Professor Kaylene Simpson, and Professor Christina Mitchell.
Monash University, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics.
"We want to identify new personalised treatments by advancing molecular sub-classification of triple negative breast cancer - a world first." - Professor Daly
Project three: New treatments for multiple myeloma
Professor Ricky Johnstone, Dr Jake Shortt, Dr Philip Thompson, and Professor Miles Prince.
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
"This entire project is blue sky, risky and highly ambitious. However, should we be successful in discovering biologically important targets, thousands of sufferers of multiple myeloma around the world will be the beneficiaries." - Professor Johnstone
Project four: Novel method to find genes that control cancer development
Professor Andreas Strasser, Dr Marco Herold, Professor, Jane Visvader and Professor, Geoffrey Lindeman.
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.
"We want to discover mechanisms that impose breaks on cancer development and expansion of malignant tumour cells in order to develop new therapies." - Professor Strasser
How can you support the Venture Grants Scheme?
By supporting Venture Grants your generosity will:
- Enable four world-class research teams to push the boundaries of cancer research.
- Change the way we think about the causes, prevention, detection, treatment and management of cancer.
- Support innovative projects with sufficient risk that are unlikely to be funded through conventional grant schemes.
How we acknowledge you
As a supporter you:
- Receive regular updates on the work and the impact of your support.
- Attend exclusive events, lab tours and receptions.
- Meet some of our world-leading scientists and their teams.
- Can link you donation to one specific project or your choice.
Contact Kristina Doucouliagos to discuss how you could ‘Be there at the Breakthrough' by supporting our Venture Grants Scheme. Email Krisitina.Doucouliagos@cancervic.org.au or call +61 3 9514 6525.