Lab+Life Scientist Jun 2015

Page 50


Overseas study opportunities now open The Australian Government’s 2016 Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships round is now open, offering high-achieving Australian

Funding announced for 19 NSW cancer projects

postgraduate students and researchers the opportunity of overseas study and research. The merit-based scholarships provide the following: • Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarships enable Australian postgraduate students to undertake long-term study or research towards their Australian qualification at Masters or PhD level, in any field, overseas. • Endeavour Research Fellowships enable Australian postgraduate students to undertake short-term research towards their Australian qualification at Masters or PhD level, in any field, overseas. Fellowships are also available for postdoctoral fellows to undertake research overseas. Minister for Education and Training Christopher Pyne said the scholarships and fellowships “provide unique opportunities for international education placements that will give Australians an edge in the highly competitive global jobs market”. “Importantly, they will also increase the level of education and research collaboration between Australian and international higher education institutions,” he added. The Endeavour scholarships are also open to international students to study an Australian qualification in Australia, including at vocational education and training institutions. This is further supported by Endeavour fellowships available to international postgraduate students and researchers to undertake research in Australia.

Cancer Council NSW has announced almost $7 million in donations for 19 groundbreaking cancer research projects. The organisation received 143 applications for grants this year, showcasing “the drive in the medical research community to learn more about cancer and the ways we treat cancer”, according to Director of Cancer Research Associate Professor Karen Canfell. The successful projects were selected for their visionary research that will challenge what we know about cancer and how we treat it, ultimately helping Cancer Council NSW reach its goal of reducing deaths from cancer by 50% over the next 20 years. Associate Professor Canfell said, “We are working with the best cancer researchers in Australia, many of whom are nationally and internationally recognised for their work.” Associate Professor Jeff Holst at the Centenary Institute will develop drugs that act like a nozzle on the nutrient pumps which feed cancer cells. By blocking the flow of these pumps, the cancer cells can be starved - an effect which has already been observed in prostate cancer, breast cancer and melanoma cells. Dr Kenneth Micklethwaite from the University of Sydney has developed an artificial receptor (CAR) enabling immune cells to see and kill myeloma cells, which are otherwise invisible to the immune system. Dr Micklethwaite will improve this CAR to ensure maximum anticancer efficacy and will also modify CAR immune cells to produce myeloma-inhibiting drugs at the site of myeloma. Dr Nicole Verrills from the University of Newcastle will be testing whether a new gene marker can predict which breast cancer patients won’t

Minister Pyne said the program complements the Australian

survive, and so should be offered new therapies. Breast cancer cells with this

Government’s commitment of more than $100 million for the

gene marker are in fact sensitive to a drug that is already in clinical use for

New Colombo Plan, which offers Australian undergraduates

other cancers; therefore, the study could lead directly to human trials.

scholarships and grants for study and internships/mentorships in

“These are just a few examples of the new and novel research that is being

the Indo-Pacific region. Both programs are important parts of the

funded in Australia thanks to generous donations,” Associate Professor

government’s strategy for promoting international educational

Karen Canfell said.

linkages for Australia, he said. Applications for the 2016 Endeavour Scholarships and

The full list of recipients can be found on the Cancer Council NSW website.

Fellowships close on 30 June 2015 at 11.59 pm AEST. For more information, visit

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