Our achievements in
2019-20

Read through some of our recent highlights and important findings.

 

A Garvan-led team is working to develop monoclonal antibodies to fight COVID-19, which could be produced in laboratories and injected monthly as an antiviral treatment to provide those most at risk (eg. Frontline health workers and the immunocompromised) with ‘passive immunity’.
 

Garvan findings suggest a treatment for psoriasis could treat osteosarcoma, a rare but aggressive form of youth cancer. Researchers demonstrated that the immune molecule IL23 is central to the development of osteosarcoma.
 

Our scientists have revealed changes to the 3D arrangement of DNA linked to treatment resistance in ER+ breast cancer. Epigenetic changes occur in the DNA of breast cancer cells that have developed a resistance to hormone therapy. This allowed the ER+ cancers to evade hormone therapy, and grow uncontrolled.
 

A team led by Professor Chris Goodnow have isolated the 'rogue' cells that cause autoimmune disease in patients, and revealed how they mutate to become harmful. This discovery will accelerate the development of better diagnostics for autoimmune disease and treatments that target these rogue cells.
 

Our researchers developed a method that allows them to identify single cells with a unique genomic profile from a tissue sample. The ability to analyse data from individual cells could help diagnose devastating diseases, including cancer and autoimmune disease.
 

We have discovered a potential combination treatment for pancreatic cancer, a disease with a five-year survival rate of only ~9%. Using a combination treatment that shuts off the protein MCL-1, the study resulted in a 60% reduction in the spread of cancer in mice.
 

Researchers have revealed that nitrogen bisphosphonates, drugs commonly prescribed for osteoporosis, reduced the risk of premature mortality by over one-third in a study of over 6000 individuals.
 

Scientists assessed changes to the brain of more than 1,000 elderly individuals who were taking statins, and found no evidence of memory impairment. In fact, cholesterol-lowering statins could protect against memory decline in some individuals at risk of dementia.