ACRF Centre for Kinomics (supported by the Ramaciotti Foundation) – A World First
With two exciting announcements for major funding in November 2009, the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) has secured the means to move full steam ahead with the development of a world-first facility which will bring together state-of-the-art instrumentation, personnel and expertise to enable an entirely new approach to the understanding of therapeutic drugs and ways to improve them.
The grants of $3.1 million and $1 million respectively from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) and the Ramaciotti Foundations will enable the establishment of the ACRF Chemical Proteomics Centre for Kinomics (CFK) supported by Ramaciotti at CMRI and the University of Newcastle (UoN).
The CFK will enable the new discipline of kinomics, not yet available in Australia, to be used in a completely novel drug design strategy. It will enable better understanding of current therapies and their unwanted side effects, as well as the development of new drugs for a multitude of human diseases, many of which are currently without any suitable treatment.
The new facility will benefit medical researchers throughout Australia. The Ramaciotti award supports a collaboration led by CMRI and UoN, and involving three universities, five medical research institutes, and a total of 23 medical research teams across NSW. The ACRF award widens the collaboration even further to involve cancer research teams throughout the nation.
The CFK is the brainchild of CMRI’s Professor Phil Robinson and UoN’s Professor Adam McCluskey, whose teams have worked together for over 10 years. CMRI Director Professor Roger Reddel describes their long-standing partnership as “extraordinarily dynamic and highly creative”.
Working in unison in the two purpose-built laboratories at CMRI and UoN that will comprise the CFK, scientists will set about understanding the Kinome - the subset of proteins known as protein kinases.
Protein kinases are the master switches for all normal cell functions. For this reason they are the target of many drugs to treat human conditions. Humans have 518 protein kinases and errors in kinases contribute to at least 400 different diseases. These include cancer, neurological conditions, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory conditions, and asthma.
The combination of the expertise of the CMRI in proteomics and UoN in medicinal chemistry in this exciting, world-first venture opens the door to new ways to translate basic research into new and improved therapies in many areas of disease to benefit generations to come.
For Professors Robinson and McCluskey and their teams, and CMRI Director Professor Roger Reddel, this fulfils a big dream. Thanks to the foresight of the ACRF and the Ramaciotti Foundations, and their willingness to support high risk projects with high potential, we expect that the reality will be even bigger.
Visit the News Videos page (scroll down to the bottom) to see the video created by the Ramaciotti Foundation to celebrate the Major Research Award for the Centre for Kinomics.