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Melbourne Institute Grants $1.5M for Cancer Genetics Research

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Two scientists at Melbourne, Australia's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have won A$1.8 million (US$1.5 million) in five-year grant fellowships to support cancer genetics and epigenetics research.

Marnie Blewitt, a researcher and lab head at the Institute, won the inaugural Dyson Fellowship to fund her studies of cancer epigenetics.

Blewitt will continue her efforts to establish a viral shRNA library that she will use to identify new epigenetic modifiers in the mammalian genome.

"This is research that could help explain how cancer develops in some people and could ultimately lead to the development of new treatments," John Dyson, who co-manages the Dyson Bequest, said in statement.

"If we find some epigenetic modifiers that have a role in cancer that information could help develop new treatments for cancer," Blewitt said.

Institute lab head and Royal Melbourne Hospital oncologist Clare Scott won the inaugural Cory Fellowship to study genes and biological pathways that keep the human body from efficiently killing lymphoma and cancer cells, including breast cancer and ovarian cells. Scott's research focuses primarily on ovarian cancer, and one of her central efforts with the fellowship funding will be to design a program of epithelial ovarian cancer research.

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