Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


Cancer Research at CMRI


Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) established the world-first ProCan project to revolutionise cancer diagnosis and treatment planning using personalised, precision medicine and big data. 

In addition, several research groups at CMRI study the mechanisms of tumour growth and development at the molecular level. Telomeres are a key molecular target of interest for the Cancer Research Unit, Cell Biology Unit, Telomere Length Regulation Unit and Genome Integrity Group
These researchers are taking different approaches to understanding the processes that control telomere length and the effects of telomeres on cell biology, all of which will be important for the development of new, targeted treatments for 98% of all cancers. The Cell Signalling Unit studies cancer from the angle of cell division. They have found several genes important for this process and are currently developing drugs targeted against dynamin as a new treatment for brain cancers.

Who is involved?
Here at CMRI we have a number of labs involved in researching childhood and adult cancer. Below are links to the research pages for these groups as well as the biographies of the research leaders. They are contactable through the CMRI switchboard +61 (02) 8865 2924 or email In addition, there are several major facilities at CMRI dedicated to or supporting cancer research:
What have we achieved? 
  • First to identify the ALT mechanism of telomere maintenance [ref]
  • First to determine the components of human telomerase [ref]
  • Developed blood test for ALT cancers [ref]
  • Identified molecular details of ALT [ref]
  • Learned how SNPs in the telomerase gene, hTERT, increase the risk of cancer [ref]

What's happening now?
  • Drug screening of cell cycle inhibitors in models of brain and breast cancer
  • Screening of telomerase inhibitors
  • More detailed structural information on human telomerase to aid targeted drug design

Alignment with Cancer Australia
CMRI applauds Cancer Australia's mission to support research that reduces the impact of cancer on the community and improve the outcomes for people affected. 

This innovative national scheme provides annual funding for research projects, including ours, and brings together government and other funders to collaboratively fund cancer research in Australia. They are helping to:
  • coordinate funding of priority-driven cancer research at the national level
  • foster collaboration between cancer researchers to build Australia’s cancer research capacity
  • foster consumer participation in cancer research, from design to implementation.

Cancer Australia's informative new website is now live: