News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Genesis Oncology Trust-funded researchers win US competition

Genesis Oncology Trust-funded researchers win prestigious US competition

Two New Zealanders, who completed their PhDs with funding from the Genesis Oncology Trust, are members of a joint team from Auckland and Stanford Universities to gain funding that will help accelerate the commercialization of their innovative breast cancer therapy.

Dr Francis Hunter received a Postgraduate Scholarship Award from the Genesis Oncology Trust in 2010. His colleague, Dr Graeme Fielder received his in 2006. After completing his PhD, Dr Hunter was awarded a Fullbright Platinum Triangle Scholarship and is now studying for an MBA at Stanford University in San Francisco, USA. However, he maintained research links with colleagues at Auckland University, particularly with Dr Fielder in relation to the development of a therapeutic armed antibody to treat breast cancer.

Graeme and Francis, together with a colleague at Stanford University, entered the Breast Cancer Startup Challenge, which aims to commercialize technologies relating to breast cancer care. The Challenge has $US250,000 funding from Avon Foundation for Women, and is run in partnership with the National Cancer Institute, and the Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI), both in the USA.

Two hundred teams asked to participate, and 46 were selected to compete from the world’s top Universities including Duke, Caltech, George Washington, John Hopkins, and Stanford. In total, 478 people participated in the competition. Given the number of teams and people on each team, this challenge is one of the largest global university business plan challenges to date.

Genesis Oncology Trust Programme Manager, Douglas Ormrod, said a cornerstone of the GOT grants programme is the annual Postgraduate Scholarship Award which provides three years of fees and a stipend to allow graduate students to undertake a PhD. Eleven scholarships have been awarded to date. Overall more than $10 million had been distributed by the Trust to cancer research and education since 2002.

“All successful candidates have met our long term expectation, but some exceed expectations as with Graeme Fielder and Francis Hunter,” said Dr Ormrod.

Rosemarie Truman, founder and Chief Executive of the CAI, said, “Today, progress in breast cancer research depends on step-change advances in technology and on paradigm-shifting strategies to rapidly bring these advances to market so they can be used by scientists and physician.”

The Breast Cancer Startup Challenge is comprised of 10 research technologies that were judged to show great promise to advance breast cancer research. These 10 inventions were developed at the National Cancer Institute in the United States and at an Avon Foundation for Women-funded university lab and include therapeutics, diagnostics, prognostics, one device, one vaccine, one delivery system and one health IT invention.

Teams of business, legal, medical/scientific, engineering, computer science students and seasoned entrepreneurs have evaluated these technologies to create business plans and start new companies to develop and commercialize them.

The team of Drs Fielder, Hunter and Mitchell Ho from Stanford will receive licence and seed funding to take their potential therapeutic antibody to the next level. The laboratory research work will be carried out in both Auckland and the USA.

For more details of the competition: www.breastcancerstartupchallenge.com

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
IHC Tribute: Colin Meads

"While Colin is best known for rugby, to us he is one of a small number of distinguished IHC New Zealand Life Members recognised for their significant support for people with intellectual disabilities," says IHC Chief Executive Ralph Jones. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Tilting at Turbines - The Trip to Spain

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have now both broken the Big Fifty barrier, which seems to have brought a whole new level of angst to their midlife adventures ... More>>

Review: A Rose By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet has accepted the challenge of this heart-touching tragedy and largely succeeded. More>>

ALSO:

NZ's First Male IAAF Gold: Tom Walsh's Historic Shot Put Victory

Although feeling very sore but with a great feeling Tom Walsh took his place as number one on the victory dais to receive his much deserved gold medal. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Hard To Find Books

"Unfortunately we are in crisis and this friendly dinosaur faces extinction… Our only hope is to try and raise funds to buy the building and restore it to its glory, either fully funded or with a viable deposit." More>>

Kid Lit: Lost Mansfield Story Discovered At Wellington Library

Previously undiscovered letters and a story written by a young Katherine Mansfield were recently unearthed in Wellington City Library’s archives by a local author researching a book about the famous writer. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland