Finding cures for children's genetic diseases

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Our latest world-first, unique research facility is now open!

01/Jul/2015  
Our latest world-first research facility is now open!

On 21 May, 2015 we officially opened the ACRF Telomere Analysis Centre at CMRI. This unique facility is specifically designed to aid research teams focussing on the study of telomeres, the structures that cap the ends of chromosomes (which are bundles of DNA) and in normal cells shorten gradually as part of normal ageing, but in cancer cells are stopped from shortening so the cancer cells can keep multiplying relentlessly. 

All thanks to a $2 Million donation from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) and $100,000 from the Ian Potter Foundation. 

Prof Roger Reddel, CMRI Director and also leader of one of CMRI's telomere research teams, said;
 

"Now that ATAC is opening, we can greatly accelerate the next phase of this work, which I expect will lead to significant advances in treatment of some very aggressive cancers."
 

$2 Million donation from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF)
(Image L – R: Mr Stephen Rix ACRF Board of Trustees, Prof Roger Reddel, Carolyn Forster CMRI Board Vice President, The Hon. Pru Goward and Ian Brown CEO of ACRF). 
The facility was officially opened by NSW Minister for Medical Research the Hon. Pru Goward MP. And we would like to extend our thanks to her and everyone who attended and was involved in making the launch such a huge success.
 
Taking in a tour of the new facility, the Hon. Pru Goward MP viewed its cutting-edge equipment, state-of-the-art microscopes and computer analysis stations all of which can propel telomere-related cancer research to a new level. 
 


“The ACRF’s Medical Research Advisory Committee - led by Professor Ian Frazer AC - assessed this research initiative as both nationally ground-breaking and internationally competitive. The ACRF and our supporters are very proud to fund this life-saving work at CMRI,” said ACRF Chief Executive, Professor Ian Brown. 

As a thank you, The Hon. Pru Goward MP, NSW Minister for Medical Research, Mr Stephen Rix, ACRF Board of Trustees and the Ian Potter Foundation were gifted with special artwork taken under the microscope by some of our very own laboratory researchers. 

 
(Image L – R: Prof Roger Reddel; Dr Scott Page ATAC Facility Manager accepting the artwork on behalf of the Ian Potter Foundation, the Hon. Pru Goward NSW Minister for Medical Research, Mr Stephen Rix ACRF Board of Trustees). 

The type of research that will benefit from this new facility was recently profiled in the Daily Telegraph.

The work led by Dr Christine Napier, with vital contributions from colleagues at the University of Minnesota, as well as CMRI Director, Professor Roger Reddel, shows we may have found an Achilles heel for a particular component found in cancers. 

Professor Reddel says, "This is far from the end of the story, because a very exciting aspect of Dr Napier's research is her discovery that there is a second ALT lock. Apparently, normal cells are so strongly protected against ALT getting out of control, that they use at least two locks, both of which have to be broken."
 
Donations towards the redevelopment of CMRI to support facilities like this can be made by visiting the website here. 
Find out more about this brand new facility here.