Estée Lauder supports innovative breast cancer research at Garvan

Dr Sharissa Latham and PhD student Louise Baldwin awarded the annual Breast Cancer Award from Estée Lauder Companies.

Louise Baldwin and Dr Sharissa Latham (L-R)

01 October 2021

Estée Lauder Companies have awarded two Garvan breast cancer researchers $15,000 each to support their innovative studies into triple-negative breast cancer and emerging immunotherapies.

The Breast Cancer Awards, presented annually, will help Dr Sharissa Latham and Louise Baldwin progress novel, early stage research projects and collect data for competitive peer-reviewed funding schemes.

Dr Latham’s research aims to therapeutically target metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), a form of breast cancer for which there are no targeted treatments and which has significantly poorer patient outcomes than other forms of breast cancer.

Dr Latham’s lab has identified a new compound named K12 that blocks a protein called JNK from promoting the growth of tumours without disrupting its function within healthy breast tissues. The Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Award will fund further research in experimental models to assess whether K12 can prevent the metastasis of breast cancers to secondary sites such as the brain, bones and lungs.

Ms Baldwin will use cutting-edge single cell genomics technologies to study why immunotherapies have a limited response in breast cancers.

Immunotherapies activate the immune system to attack cancer cells. This approach his led to significantly improved outcomes for patients with a number of different cancer types, but unfortunately has shown little impact on breast cancer.

Ms Baldwin will use her Breast Cancer Award funding to analyse samples from two sets of experimental models – one that is sensitive to immunotherapy and one that isn’t – to understand the mechanisms that influence whether immune cells respond to immunotherapy in breast cancer. Ms Baldwin hopes this project will lead to new therapeutic strategies to target breast cancer using immunotherapies and improve patient outcomes.

“This year, we are incredibly excited to award the Estée Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Campaign Award to both Louise and Sharissa to support their early-stage breast cancer research. Our employees across Australia have fundraised throughout the year to make this possible and we hope that these research grants enable some promising outcomes. We congratulate Louise and Sharissa for their outstanding work and contribution to global research efforts,” says Kate Gildea, Media Marketing & Corporate Communications Lead, The Estée Lauder Companies Australia

The Garvan Institute is incredibly appreciative of Estée Lauder Companies’ ongoing support for our breast cancer research and patient outreach programs. Estée Lauder Companies have been campaigning for a breast cancer-free world for almost 30 years: the iconic Pink Ribbon was co-created by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1992.

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