ACRF Awards Peter Mac $2.5 Million Grant
ACRF Awards Peter Mac $2.5 Million Grant - Research at Peter Mac
|The Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) has awarded the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre a grant of $2.5 Million. These funds will support the development at Peter Mac of the ACRF Cancer Genomics Program.|
This generous ACRF grant, together with funding from the Peter Mac Foundation, has enabled the purchase of the very latest in genomic technology — a Next Generation Sequencer, High Content Imaging Microscope, Automated Liquid Handling Robot, Human Whole Genome RNAi library and Mouse Whole Genome RNAi library — that will form the basis of this new program.
The ACRF Cancer Genomics Program offers unprecedented access for Peter Mac and Victorian-based researchers to high throughput small interfering RNA (siRNA) screening. This cutting edge technology complements the existing high quality equipment currently available through the Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics (VCFG) that is housed within the Peter Mac Research Division.
Central to the equipment purchased with the assitance of ACRF funding is the Cellomics arrayscan VTi automated robot microscope. By operating this facility and establishing its associated infrastructure at the VCFG at their East Melbourne site, Peter Mac joins the RNAi Global group — an elite consortium of 38 leading medical research groups that share knowledge and expertise at the forefront of molecular biology.
The advanced microscope vastly improves the ability of researchers at Peter Mac to examine genes. In the past this image examination or ‘screening’ had to be performed gene-by-gene, but with the Cellomics arrayscan microscope up to 21,000 genes can be screened in only a couple of months.
Not only is the speed enhanced, but the quality of screening is also as Dr Kaylene Simpson explains: “you can leave many plates stacked up and a robotic arm delivers the plates to the scope. After it does the imaging, it performs very sophisticated analysis that is fully automated, so you can leave it running and return to find numerical output on a spreadsheet.”
Dr Simpson is co-head of the VCFG based at Peter Mac, the first group to access siRNA technology in Australia. Dr Simpson hails siRNA as “one of the greatest recent advances in molecular biology”, enabling researchers to process image plates that contain hundreds of wells at multiple wavelengths, very quickly and with fantastic resolution. The discoverers of this breakthrough technique of gene investigation were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2006.
Peter Mac proudly acknowledges the significant assistance of the ACRF in supporting the ACRF Cancer Genomics Program, strengthening the efficiency and productivity of the VCFG and helping its cancer research find faster results that will benefit all Australians.