Follow My Blog

PhD Student wins FASEB award! It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Professor Marco Falasca’s PhD student, Pratibha Malhotra, who won a Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) award for her oral presentation at the recent FASEB Science Research Conference. FASEB is an organisation that provides a forum in which to hold educational meetings, develop publications, and disseminate biological research results and encompasses over 130,000 researchers world-wide. Pratibha submitted an abstract for the “Lysophospholipid and Related Mediators Conference: From Bench to Clinic” and was invited as a speaker to present on “Exosomal lysophospholipids play key role in cancer progression”. The FASEB awards are highly competitive, and this is an outstanding achievement. When asked about what this award means to her, Pratibha said “I am happy and grateful to receive this award at an international conference. This conference was a wonderful opportunity and I enjoyed working on it. I sincerely thank and appreciate my supervisor, Professor Falasca for his valuable help, support and efforts in the lead up to this presentation and conference”. Congratulations Pratibha on this exceptional award and recognition.

For the month of September, I am giving up sugar to raise awareness and funds for the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. They are the only Foundation in Australia exclusively dedicated to pancreatic cancer, with a mission to dramatically improve survival rates and quality of life for those impacted by the disease. Did you know that it is predicted pancreatic cancer will become the 3rd biggest cancer killer in Australia in 2020? Cheer me on to complete this challenge by making a donation and helping me reach my fundraising goal. Thanks in advance for your support!

Curtin University and CHIRI’s Associate Professor Nina Tirnitz-Parker and Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical ResearchThe University of Western Australia‘s Professor Peter Leedman (pictured right), will co-lead a collaborative team of researchers testing new treatments for primary liver cancer at a new $10.8 million world-class research centre for Perth.
Announced this week, the centre will be established with a $5 million Cancer Research Trust grant and $5.8 million from Minderoo Foundation, Curtin University, UWA, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, the WA Government and charitable organisations.
Carrying out the research will be the Western Australian Liver Cancer Collaborative, a team of more than 50 researchers from UWA, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and Curtin-CHIRI.
The team will apply the latest techniques to analyse patient tumours and test new treatments for malignant cancer starting in the liver, which is responsible for the third-most cancer related deaths worldwide.
The team includes Nina and her CHIRI colleagues Associate Professor Pieter Eichhorn, Professor Marco Falasca and Dr Rodrigo Carlessi (pictured left), all from Curtin’s School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences.
Also involved in the research will be Perth’s three main teaching hospitals as well as interstate and international collaborators.
Among the team’s aims are establishing and profiling a repository of organoids representing different tumour subtypes to screen for possible treatment choices without side effects to the patient; and developing a large resource of approximately 500 liver cancer samples over five years from across Australia.
Nina said the team was incredibly grateful to the Cancer Research Trust for its $5 million grant matched by a further $5.8 million from generous donations.
Minderoo Foundation is providing $2.5 million, Curtin University $1 million, $500,000 is being contributed by each of UWA, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, the WA Health Department and the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Foundation – Charlies Foundation for Research. The McCusker Charitable Foundation is contributing $300,000.
“Such a significant investment in liver cancer research will enable us to develop a world-class bio-bank and collect extensive data that will be available to researchers and medical specialists around the world,” Nina said.
“Most importantly, the Centre will make a difference to the treatment of liver cancer and contribute to greater international understanding of the disease.”
You can read more about funding for the centre and its research in the Curtin University media release: