Garvan hosts leading international researchers for 8th Signalling Symposium

The 8th Garvan Signalling Symposium, which attracts international experts to Garvan to discuss the latest advances in cell signalling research in health and disease, was held on 31 October and 1 November.
09 November 2016

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research welcomed a multitude of national and international speakers and guests to its 8th Signalling Symposium on 31 October.

This meeting brings together leaders in the field of “Signalling”, an area of research that studies how biochemical signals are communicated within cells, how they lead to physiological responses such as cell survival or death, and how disturbed signalling processes contribute to cancer, diabetes, metabolic and neurological disorders and other conditions.

The symposium opened with a keynote address from Professor Owen Sansom from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute (Glasgow, Scotland). In his talk entitled “Investigating key oncogenic and tumour suppressor gene mutations in vivo,” Prof Sansom discussed his laboratory’s use of 3D models to study the genetics of colorectal and pancreatic cancer, with the aim of identifying new targets for therapeutic development.

Prof Sansom and Beatson colleague Dr Jennifer Morton, who also spoke at the meeting, have visited Garvan a number of times in the past and Garvan maintains a strong collaborative partnership with the Beatson Institute.

Other highlights included Professor Peter Shepherd from The University of Auckland, New Zealand discussing signalling pathways in glucose metabolism, and Associate Professor Eric O’Neill from the University of Oxford, UK discussing epigenetics and molecular signalling during tumour initiation. A list of all the speakers is below.

Dr Paul Timpson, Head of the Invasion and Metastasis laboratory in Garvan’s Cancer Division, who organises this meeting, said, “The 2016 Signalling Symposium has been a great success. The calibre of speakers was incredibly high this year – with international speakers ranging from Pat Caswell from the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, UK, to ex-Garvan scientists Daniel Schramek and Tilman Brummer, now independent group leaders at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Canada and University of Freiberg, Germany, to name but a few.

“Australian scientists also shared their latest findings – with wonderful talks from Natasha Harvey from the Centre for Cancer Biology, Adelaide, Andrew Brooks  from the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute and Garvan’s own Marina Pajic, among many others.

“The research and technologies we’ve heard about, across all disease areas, are not just academic, they’re translational – and they will make a difference. It was particularly pleasing to have some of the world’s leading researchers in the very promising area of cancer immunotherapy in the room.”

At this year’s meeting, Garvan also welcomed back Professor Roger Daly, who was a researcher at Garvan for 20 years and ran the first Signalling Symposium in 2001.  Prof Daly is now Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular at Monash University in Melbourne and also leads the Biomedicine Discovery Institute Cancer Program there. In his talk entitled “Subclassification of human cancers through phosphoproteomic profiling,” he discussed his laboratory’s study of different cell signalling pathways in pancreatic and breast cancer, and in sarcoma.

Dr Kate Sutherland and Dr Tracy Putoczki from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research joined Prof Daly as Melbourne representatives at the symposium.

Perhaps the visitors from Melbourne inspired the break on the second day of the symposium – when attendees watched the Melbourne Cup race live before reconvening for the final session of talks.


International Speakers:

Owen J Sansom, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Scotland

Eric O'Neill, University of Oxford, UK

Peter R Shepherd, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Tilman Brummer, University of Freiburg, Germany

Jennifer P Morton, Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, Scotland

Pat Caswell, Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, UK

Daniel Schramek, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada


National Speakers:

Andrew J Brooks, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute

Louise Cheng, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Christina A Mitchell, Monash University

Mark A Febbraio, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Tracy L Putockzi, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Nigel Turner, University of New South Wales

David R Croucher, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Roger J Daly, Monash University

Kate D Sutherland, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Glen Reid, University of Sydney

Roland Stocker, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute

Natasha L Harvey, Centre for Cancer Biology

Thomas R Cox, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Herbert Herzog, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Massimo A Hilliard, Queensland Brain Institute

Anthony M Joshua, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Matthias Ernst, Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute

Liz Caldon, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Greg G Neely, University of Sydney

Joshua A McCarroll, Children's Cancer Institute

Suresh Mathivanan, La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science

Andrew Burgess, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Robert Brink, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Peter I Croucher, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

Marina Pajic, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

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