Sydney Catalyst Monthly Newsletter
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Spring has sprung...welcome to our September newsletter. August was a super-busy month for everyone at Sydney Catalyst Central Office with a number of important events and activities, including our External Review, the Sydney Catalyst International Translational Cancer Research Symposium, our first Education Dinner Series event for 2017, and our first ever PhD Opportunities Showcase. And while we are taking just a small breather on the events front for now, there is lots of other news and activities for us to share with you.


Help Craft Our Program Just the Way You Like It

We've put a quick online survey together for our members to give us feedback on what's working, what you'd like to see more of, and what we can do to make the Sydney Catalyst program greater than the sum of our parts. We understand your time is valuable, so this one is fast and easy.

Click here to complete the quickest 3-question feedback survey of your life! 

We genuinely want to hear what you think, so if you have a minute please complete the survey. if you have longer than a minute, we're always happy to have a chat, so drop us a line



Top-to-toe MRI Screen Picks up Early-Stage Cancers While Still Curable

Sydney Catalyst member Professor David Thomas was in the news recently thanks to his work with whole-body MRI screening of patients with a genetic cancer risk. His team showed the early screens pick up cancer at a high rate, well before symptoms show.

To read more, click here.


Flagship 2: Pilot & Seed Funding Program

Since early 2012, our P&S Program has been supporting the development of new concepts and projects, allowing members to break new ground and undertake essential, preliminary work and/or effect practice at a local level. With 5+ years of supported projects to reflect on, we thought it might be a good time to review some of the amazing progress that has been made.

The Sydney Catalyst P&S program has awarded ~$1.35M to 29 projects (from ~120 applications received), including 15 T1T2 projects, 13 T2T3 projects and 1 T1T2T3 project. Of these 29 projects, 9 remain in progress (and you can find out more about them here).

In terms of research outputs, 21 projects have reported at least one output to date, including 38 conference presentations (from 18 projects), 16 publications (from 10 projects) and 11 leveraged grants/awards (from 9 projects), totaling approx. $6.5M. We are continuing to receive updates from both our past and current P&S funding recipients, and so clearly these numbers will continue to increase as projects mature. 

There are many great examples of P&S project successes, but a few to highlight include;

In 2014 Dr Phillip Fromm was awarded $50,000 for his project entitled ' mRNA Prostate Cancer Antigen Loaded Blood Dendritic Cell Therapy'. In brief this project validated a novel practical method of blood Dendritic Cell (DC) preparation for therapeutic DC vaccination, which is now being used to develop novel immune therapies not just in prostate cancer but also extended into other malignancies (acute myeloid leukemia, myeloma, and glioma). In 2015, Dr Fromm was awarded an Early Career Fellowship to continue this work, which is clearly a great outcome for both Phillip and the Sydney Catalyst P&S program.

In 2016 Professor Kate White and her team were awarded $50,000 to undertake a project to develop a better understanding of the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis, including whether this is a potential barrier to accessing cancer care. While this project is still underway, one key outcome to date has been the recruitment of a new PhD student to work on the project, representing a unique opportunity for Sydney Catalyst to contribute to building capacity in translational research by supporting early-mid career researchers.   



PhD Scholarships & Top-Up Awards

We aim to encourage training and development of outstanding researchers and clinicians from within Sydney Catalyst units, who have the potential to develop highly significant careers in cancer research, and meet the overall goals of Sydney Catalyst.

One of our specific aims is to develop capacity in implementation research (ie. evidence into practice, T2T3 as per  CINSW model of translational research) and as such, applications in this area are especially encouraged.

The next round of applications will open mid to late September 2017, so keep an eye out for more information coming soon.


Education Dinner Series Event: Liver Cancer

Planning is underway for our next EDS on the topic of liver cancer:
WHEN: Wednesday 8th November, 2017
WHERE: The Grandstand Room 2, 1 Blackburn Circuit The University of Sydney

Led by Professor Geoff McCaughan and with input from the T2T3 WG incl. Chair Professor Philip Beale, this event is being planned with all members from across the translational cancer research spectrum T1-T3 in mind. 

Primary liver cancer has been identified as one of three focus cancers in the current NSW Cancer Plan, and for good reason. Primary liver cancer is increasing in Australia and has recently become one of our top ten causes of cancer death. The most common cause of primary liver cancer is hepatitis (mostly viral hep B and C), which makes the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer especially complicated, demanding a multi-disciplinary approach.

Further information about this event will be made available on our website soon, but in the meantime please save the date for a great night out.

Other Opportunities

As always we have some exciting events and opportunities coming up. Check out the highlights below and then head to our website for even more. 


Publications & Resources

Did you know that as a member of Sydney Catalyst you have access to an ever-expanding library of publications and resources in the realm of Translational Cancer Research? 

We've started fresh with our new website, showcasing a focused selection of articles to date. But we aim to grow and share the wisdom amongst our network. With that in mind, we invite you to submit any relevant publications you'd like to circulate within the consortium. Likewise, if you have a resource you feel may benefit your peers, we're happy to be your conduit for dissemination. Or if you see a gap in resources you'd like us to fill, drop us a line and we'll see what we can bring to the table. 
Copyright © 2017 Sydney Catalyst, All rights reserved.

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