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First Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant Announced

The Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation (AGCF) is pleased to announce that Dr Dane Cheasley from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, was selected as the successful applicant for the AGCF and Way in Network Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award 2017 – AGCF’s first Postdoctoral Fellowship grant.

 Dr Cheasley currently holds a full time position at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre as a Postdoctoral Fellow, working on genetic and genomic studies of interval breast cancers and rare ovarian cancers. He has also held a postdoctoral research fellowship position at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne

Dr Cheasley’s research hopes to fill in one of the gaps in the current treatment of ovarian cancer. Despite the fact that 200,000 women are diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer world-wide annually and only approximately 40% survive five years, ovarian cancer has for many years  been treated as a single disease. 

It is now known that there are multiple distinct subtypes of ovarian cancer, and each subtype has a different genetic profile . One of the less common subtypes is low-grade serous carcinoma, which is particularly common in young women. This cancer is difficult to treat because it is usually resistant to chemotherapy.Dr Cheasley’s research will look at the genetic profile of women with low-grade serous ovarian cancer, with a view to   better understanding why the disease is resistant to  chemotherapy. His research will also attempt to  develop a new, effective gene (or targeted) therapy for the disease. 

Professor Ian Campbell, Head of the  Cancer Genetics Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will be supervising Dr Cheasley in his research. Professor Campbell is an industry pioneer in breast and ovarian cancer genetics and geometrics and has established an international reputation for research excellence in these areas.

The AGCF’s mission is to raise awareness and fund research for the prevention, detection and treatment of gynaecological cancers in Australia. The Way In Network is a migrant women’s association that aims to  support and assist women migrating to New South Wales to integrate into Australian society. The Way In Network has been a strong supporter of women’s cancer research, through the AGCF.  

Innovation is at the heart of the Award, which supports  novel and necessary research about gynaecological cancer. It will assist applicants with ground-breaking research ideas and the enthusiasm and expertise to translate them into advances in knowledge, which can then be appied in the clinic.

The Award takes the form of a 2-year grant allowing payment of a stipend to the value of $90,000 per year plus an additional $10,000 per year for research support and up to $10,000 additional per year for conference travel and attendance.  The AGCF graciously thank the Way In Network for contributing $90,000 to the Award.

The AGCF encourages all Australian women affected by gynaecological cancers to be resilient and optimistic about the future.  In the words of Ms Diane Langmack OAM, AGCF chair, the best medicine is to work harder and to support those who are less fortunate.