For her exceptional achievements in pancreatic cancer research, Dr Angela Chou has been presented with Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow Award as part of the 2020 NSW Premier's Research Awards.
Dr Chou completed her PhD and postdoctoral fellowship at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in the Personalised Cancer Therapeutics Lab, headed by A/Prof Marina Pajic, and in 2020 joined the Kolling Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital as a cancer researcher. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney.
“Receiving this recognition is a great honour. The Cancer Institute support has helped me tremendously, giving me the autonomy to develop my research skills, confidence and ability as an independent researcher,” says Dr Chou.
The esteemed Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow Award is presented annually to an early career researcher who has demonstrated exceptional research progress.
Dr Chou was announced recipient of the Award as part of an online presentation today, and will receive a prize of $10,000 towards her research endeavours.
Pioneering pancreatic cancer research
Dr Chou’s research at the Garvan Institute focussed on pancreatic cancer, an aggressive disease with a five-year survival rate of only ~9%.
Dr Chou investigated the molecular details that underpin pancreatic cancer progression and treatment failure, with the aim to develop more effective therapeutic strategies.
As part of the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative (APGI), Dr Chou generated laboratory data that allowed her to explore targeted therapies as potential pancreatic cancer treatments.
In preclinical models, she showed that a majority of pancreatic cancers that have a defective cancer pathway can be treated with a drug already utilised in the clinical management of other cancer types.
“I believe there is a lot of opportunity for translational cancer research in the next five years. We are slowly starting to improve patient survival,” says Dr Chou.
“Receiving the Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow Award is a testament to Angela’s remarkable research achievements,” says A/Prof Pajic. “Her research has made a significant contribution to Garvan’s pancreatic research program and we look forward to continuing our productive collaboration in future.”
This research was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Philip Hemstritch Research Fellowship.