Peter Mac News


Inaugural Barrie Dalgleish Centre for Myeloma and Related Blood Cancers Grand Challenge Grants Announced

27 May 2024

The Barrie Dalgleish Centre for Myeloma and Related Blood Cancers announced Associate Professor Lev Kats and Dr Anna Trigos as the two recipients of the inaugural Grand Challenge grants.

The Grand Challenge grants, worth up to $400,000 each, are aimed at supporting researchers with innovative ideas that have the potential to significantly advance blood cancer research and unlock new discoveries.

Kaye Meynell, General Manager of the Dalgleish Centre said the grants provide support for researchers undertaking exceptionally innovative, high-risk high-reward projects that typically would be unable to attract conventional funding. 

“The proposals had to demonstrate the potential to open the way for significant advances in our understanding of the biology of multiple myeloma and the improvement of health outcomes for people who are at risk of, or require treatment for, the disease.

“We believe Dr Trigos’ and Associate Professor Kats’ work will drive scientific discovery and have a tangible impact on the lives of myeloma patients. We are extremely excited to follow their progress over the coming months,” she said. 

Dr Trigos and her team will investigate an understudied form of multiple myeloma called extramedullary myeloma.  Her research project is entitled ‘Fighting the extramedullary fight: better personalised care for patients with extramedullary multiple myeloma.’ Through this research she aims to develop better personalised treatments for myeloma patients.

Associate Professor Kats’ research will utilise a ‘mouse myeloma hospital’ to test new experimental treatments. The research aims to identify molecular factors that predict resistance, and rapidly evaluate the efficacy of rationally designed combination regimens that are based on mechanistic understanding.

Professor Ricky Johnstone, Director of the Barrie Dalgleish Centre for Myeloma and Related Blood Cancers explained that the centre is a partnership of academic organisations, lead out of Peter Mac, that drives new fundamental, clinical and health services multiple myeloma research in an integrated, interdisciplinary, and collaborative manner.

“The centre was formed through funding from a generous bequest of $15 million from the Estate of Barrie Dalgleish.

“Since being established at the end of 2022, the Dalgleish Centre has awarded more than $1.7M in funds to novel myeloma research projects that aim to advance the understanding of the disease and improve treatment options for patients.

“We were very impressed with the recipients’ proposals and look forward to the 2024 grant round opening in June 2024, where we have a further $1.5 million in funds to commit,” he said.