Young Sydney professionals give researchers a flying start
Dr Matt Prior and Dr Liz Caldon
28 July 2010
Two young scientists from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have received a significant boost to their research into breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes, thanks to support from Young Garvan, a group of Sydney professionals committed to progressing awareness of and funding for medical research.
Dr Matt Prior and Dr Liz Caldon have been appointed joint 2010 Young Garvan Fellows by the Garvan Institute, an award that recognizes outstanding young scientists. They will each receive $25,000 from Young Garvan to further their research.
Funds for the Young Garvan Fellowship were raised through the Young Garvan Committee*. Chair of the Committee Gordon Eckel said: ‘It is a great pleasure to see all the hard work and outstanding efforts of the Committee, its supporters and sponsors culminating in funding for these two outstanding young scientists. They are inspiring individuals, whose work will make a significant contribution to people with breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes.”
Dr Prior’s research in Garvan’s Diabetes and Obesity program is focused on the molecular causes of insulin resistance at a cellular level. He is investigating how insulin promotes the transport of glucose into the cell and why this is impaired in people with Type 2 diabetes, with the aim of developing new therapies to treat the disease. He said: “The Fellowship provides me with a fantastic opportunity to really further my career, and hopefully make a real difference to the quality of life for people with Type 2 diabetes.”
Dr Caldon from Garvan’s Cancer program is investigating the role of two proteins, cyclin E1 and cyclin E2, in the development of aggressive breast cancer. Women with high levels of these proteins are less likely to respond to therapy. Dr Caldon aims to understand how these proteins change a cancer cell, and contribute to tumour development. She also wants to understand why high levels of these proteins may reduce the efficacy of anti-estrogen drugs such as Tamoxifen (the most effective breast cancer treatment available). She said: “This Fellowship will help me pursue my goal of making a difference to breast cancer sufferers by providing funding for me to investigate new ideas about the role of cyclin E1 and cyclin E2 in breast cancer, which will hopefully translate into better therapies.”
Drs Prior and Caldon will receive their awards at Young Garvan’s All Ribbons Ball on 14th August. The event features entertainment from Julian Huxley (Australian Wallaby), Sydney Dance Company, and Australian blues legends The Backsliders. For more information visit www.allribbonsball.com.
The 2010 Young Garvan Fellowships were made possible through the fundraising efforts of the Young Garvan Committee and significant financial support from Pfizer Australia and Macquarie Private Wealth who are the presenting and platinum sponsors for the All Ribbons Ball.
*The Young Garvan Committee: Emily Adams, Gordon Eckel, Joanne Joseph, Kathryn O’Brien, Dr Kylie Webster, Lara Dawson, Lindsay Leeser, Nikki Alling, Renee Kiosoglous, Simon Oaten, Sophie Curtis and Alex Henson.