Cancer research lab opens in Victoria

Wednesday, 23 September, 2015

Cancer research lab opens in Victoria

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) have partnered together to open the ACRF Breakthrough Technologies Laboratory — a $2.5 million facility which will enable new insights into how cancer develops and how it can be more effectively treated.

The facility is Australia’s first dedicated cancer laboratory to use CRISPR/Cas9 technology to target and directly manipulate genes in cancer cells. As noted by WEHI Director Professor Doug Hilton, “It has become clear that technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 can accelerate new breakthroughs in understanding cancer and developing new treatments.

“The generosity of ACRF and its donors has allowed us to equip our research teams with precisely the tools they need to advance their research,” Professor Hilton said.

The facility’s capabilities will be used by researchers from WEHI and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) — an alliance of Victorian organisations committed to cancer care — to enhance and accelerate research into many of Australia’s most common, and most deadly, cancers. VCCC Executive Director Professor Jim Bishop claimed the laboratory will provide researchers with “unparalleled access to world-leading technology”.

“The strength of the VCCC lies in the close ties it fosters between the laboratory-based, clinical and other researchers in its partner organisations,” Professor Bishop said. “This means that discoveries made in the ACRF Breakthrough Technologies Laboratory will be translated into new treatments for cancer as rapidly in Melbourne as anywhere in the world.”

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