2019 Innovation Grants announced

Thursday, November 21, 2019
2019 Avner Foundation Innovation Grant recipients: (L to R) Prof. Eva Bezak, Dr Tatyana Chtanova, Prof. John Zalcberg; (bottom) A/Prof. Shane Grey, Dr Ying Zhu, Prof. John Hooper.

The Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation today announces $600,000 in grant funding to six researchers in the 2019 Innovation Grant round. The $600,000 will be shared equally between six talented pancreatic cancer scientists from leading research institutions around Australia.

The grants have been awarded to Associate Professor Shane Grey and Doctor Tatyana Chtanova, both from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Professor John Hooper from The University of Queensland, Professor Eva Bezak from The University of South Australia, Dr Ying Zhu from UNSW, and Professor John Zalcberg from Monash University in Melbourne.

“We are pleased to award funding to these innovative projects.” said Michelle Stewart, CEO of the Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, “ We are encouraged by the high calibre of the research and believe that investment into projects like these will help us to increase survival for Australians diagnosed with pancreatic cancer”.

Michelle went on to say “Pancreatic cancer is predicted to become the second leading cause of cancer death in Australia in the coming years, and claims as many lives as breast cancer, yet there is an overwhelming lack of public knowledge and funding for the disease. While we applaud the advocates of other top-five cancers who have driven vast improvements to survival rates that now exceed 90%, now is the time to apply the same focus and funding to pancreatic cancer”

Head of the Avner Foundation international Independent Advisory Panel, Prof. Ross McKinnon from Flinders University said “The 2019 round saw a further dramatic increase in the number of grants considered by the Avner Scientific Advisory Panel. The quality of the grants received was clearly the highest yet with remarkable breadth. Most notable was the move of many high-quality cancer groups into the highly challenging pancreatic cancer field”.

2019 Innovation Grant recipients

A/Prof. Shane Grey - Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Next steps in harnessing a novel 'tuneable' immune checkpoint to enhance the immunogenicity of anti-pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Read the project details

Dr Tatyana Chtanova - Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Developing new immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer. 
Read the project details

Prof. Eva Bezak - University of South Australia
Development of new radioimmunotherapy agent to selectively target and kill pancreatic cancer cells.
Read the project details

Prof. John Hooper - University of Queensland
A novel agent for imaging and treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Read the project details

Dr Ying Zhu - UNSW
Development of a non-invasive method of early detection for pancreatic cancer patients using nanotechnology.
Read the project details

Prof. John Zalcberg - Monash University
Surgical removal of non-metastatic pancreatic cancer – a comparison of European vs Australian practice.
Read the project details

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