Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


Telomerase Research to Continue Thanks to Funding

Senior Research Scientist, Dr Scott Cohen, of Children’s Medical Research Institute, will continue his research on Telomerase, thanks to funding from the Ernest & Piroska Major Foundation, managed by Perpetual. They have been funding Dr Cohen’s research since 2012, and have recently committed a further $240,000 to support him through 2018.
“This research is an ambitious, long-term pursuit to determine the structure of the human telomerase enzyme, but the people at Perpetual understand its potential to contribute to human health,” Dr Cohen said.
Telomerase is at the forefront of human biology and diseases related to cellular lifespan. Cancer cells display limitless lifespan, and excessive telomerase fuels the uncontrolled growth of ~90% of human cancers. A small-molecule drug that could block telomerase – telomerase inhibitors – could be an effective and specific cancer treatment with few side effects.
More recently, scientists are learning that age-related degenerative syndromes may be a consequence of insufficient telomerase. A drug that could turn on telomerase in a controlled manner – telomerase activators – may delay or even reverse some of the degeneration that occurs as we age.
Such small-molecule drugs could be custom-designed through the powerful knowledge of enzyme structure. Dr Cohen is making progress, thanks to the support and commitment of Perpetual.