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New Grants For Serious Life Threatening Illness

Research Into Breast Cancer, Childhood Leukaemia, & Kidney Failure Receives New Grants

Researchers at the Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Otago have won new funding for research into breast cancer, childhood leukaemia, and kidney failure.

The funding from the Lottery Grants Board, totalling $309,118, will provide equipment and salaries for research groups at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Associate Professor Christine Morris from the Cancer Genetics Research Group has received $100,000 for ongoing research into breast cancer. The Lottery grant will be used to further examine chromosomal and genetic factors which correlate with a particular type of breast tumour. Understanding these mechanisms may uncover new leads to biomolecular targets within cancer cells and improved treatment of different tumour types.

Dr Michael Sullivan from the Children’s Cancer Research Group and Associate Professor Tim Yandle from the Christchurch Cardioendocrine Research Group have received $115,007 to investigate the role played by a recently discovered bone growth factor (CNP) in children who have received chemotherapy for leukaemia. These drugs often cause growth impairment which is not discovered until later in treatment. This research is aimed at early detection of growth impairment and poor bone health in children and to prevent it happening.

Kidney specialist, Professor Zoltan Endre, from the Department of Medicine has received $60,000 to investigate new treatment for chronic kidney failure in diabetes patients. Professor Endre will be researching the development of early warning signals in the kidney to allow better preventive treatment for acute renal failure.

The balance of the funding of $34,111 will be used for microarray equipment for genetic analysis, to be shared by a number of research groups.

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