Congratulations to our CASS Foundation grant awardees

Five Hudson Institute researchers have been awarded one-year Medicine/Science grants totalling nearly $300,000 by The CASS Foundation, to advance their research projects into mitochondrially-driven cancers, ovarian cancer, Parkinson’s disease, primary aldosteronism and endometriosis in 2020.

The CASS Foundation supports short-term, ‘proof of concept’ Victorian medicine and science research projects in promising topic areas, which have the potential to attract longer-term funding and contribute to better practice and delivery of services.

Congratulations to our awardees: Dr Daniel Garama, Dr Amy Wilson, Dr Jimmy Shen, Dr Fiona Cousins, and Dr Joohyung Lee.

Dr Daniel Garama from the STAT Cancer Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Switching off mitochondrially-driven cancers

Dr Daniel Garama

Amount: $60,000

The grant awarded to Dr Garama will enable him to investigate mitochondrial protein import interactions. These interactions are critical for the metabolic changes that drive cancer formation and may provide new treatments and drug targets for some of the deadliest cancers.

Scientist, Dr Amy Wilson from the Ovarian Cancer Biomarkers Research Group at Hudson Institute

Therapeutic targeting of the deadly leader cell population: a novel treatment for ovarian cancer

Dr Amy Wilson

Amount: $58,000

Dr Wilson’s laboratory has previously demonstrated that a deadly population of ovarian cancer cells called ‘leader cells’ are responsible for invasion into healthy tissue. They are looking at targeting these cells as a novel therapy in a pre-clinical ovarian cancer model.

Dr Jimmy Shen from the Endocrine Hypertension Research Group at Hudson Institute

124I-iodometomidate PET scan for primary aldosteronism—a novel and less invasive method of finding a curable source of high blood pressure

Dr Jimmy Shen

Amount: $58,000

Primary aldosteronism is a condition due to excessive production of the hormone aldosterone by the adrenal gland, which causes high blood pressure and heart disease. An invasive procedure known as adrenal vein sampling (AVS) is usually performed to determine whether the overproduction of aldosterone is due to one adrenal gland (surgery will benefit) or both adrenal glands (medication is the treatment of choice). Dr Shen’s study will employ a non-invasive nuclear medicine 124I iodometomidate scan to determine if it is as good as the AVS for this purpose, with less waiting time and lower cost to the patient and health network.

Dr Fiona Cousins from the Endometrial Stem Cell Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Moving one step closer to a cure for endometriosis

Dr Fiona Cousins

Amount: $58,000

Endometriosis is a chronic disorder that has a major impact on quality of life. There is no cure and current treatments are limited. We are investigating whether a new, naturally-produced cytokine can be used as a therapeutic for the disease. This project looks to characterise its activity on target cells in the endometrium and endometriotic lesions.

Dr Joohyung Lee, Honorary Research Associate, working at the lab bench and using a microscope to assist with his medical research

Translating inhibitors as a novel therapy for Parkinson’s disease

Dr Joohyung Lee

Amount: $58,000

The project aims to identify novel drugs to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD) using preclinical human cellular models of PD.

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