A groundbreaking research project led by Dr. Daniel Utzschneider at the University of Melbourne has been awarded a significant grant of close to $100,000 from the Ramaciotti Health Investment program. The project aims to identify and target immune regulators that can improve cancer control and treatment outcomes.
Cancer remains one of the greatest health challenges worldwide, affecting millions of people. While therapies like checkpoint blockade have shown success, it is vital to explore innovative approaches due to the limited benefits seen in some patients. The immune system, especially T cells, often become exhausted in response to cancer, which allows the disease to progress.
Dr. Utzschneider, an internationally renowned expert in the study of T cell biology, plans to use advanced technology, including a CRISPR screen platform, to screen for regulators that impact T cell responses to cancer. Unlike conventional screens, this platform can select T cells based on their functionality and localization, enabling the identification of targets that affect T cell quality rather than quantity.
“Our ultimate goal is to uncover potential therapeutic targets that can enhance cancer treatment or improve existing therapies,” explains Dr. Utzschneider. By unraveling the mechanisms behind T cell exhaustion, this research has the potential to revolutionize the field and offer new avenues for treatment.
The Ramaciotti Health Investment grant from Perpetual and the Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Foundations provides crucial support for this important work. Dr. Utzschneider expressed his gratitude, stating, “Their generosity has a significant impact on advancing health and medical research. This grant will help us progress our research, potentially leading to new or improved ways to treat cancer.”
With the aim of supporting health and medical research with a path to clinical application within five years, the Ramaciotti Health Investment grants are awarded to early-career investigators for their autonomous research. The grants aim to provide the necessary support for researchers taking substantive positions.
What is the goal of the research project?
The goal of the research project is to identify and target novel immune regulators that can enhance cancer treatment and improve existing therapies.
What is the role of T cells in cancer?
T cells, a crucial component of the immune system, often become exhausted in response to cancer. This exhaustion hinders the body’s ability to fight the disease effectively.
How will the research project identify therapeutic targets?
The research project will utilize advanced technology, including a CRISPR screen platform, to screen for regulators that impact T cell responses to cancer. This platform can select T cells based on their functionality and localization, allowing for the identification of targets that affect T cell quality.
How will the grant from the Ramaciotti Health Investment program support the research?
The grant from the Ramaciotti Health Investment program provides crucial funding to support the research project, enabling the progression of research that may lead to new or improved ways to treat cancer.
(Source: Perpetual – for more information, visit: perpetual.com.au)