Researchers at Peter Mac will benefit from an injection of funding from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

The funding boost will help researchers across Peter Mac continue their collaborative work to improve outcomes for cancer patients across a spectrum of disease areas.

Executive Director of Cancer Research, Professor Ricky Johnstone said, “These collaborative research projects highlight the importance of working together across institutes to enhance critical thinking and expertise.

“The projects utilise the latest technologies to uncover new insights into cancer onset, progression and clinical intervention that will lead to improved outcomes for cancer patients.

”This support for medical research from the Australian Government via MRFF grants is crucial to helping breakthroughs in medical treatment to occur,” he said.

Professor Bernhard Riedel, Director of Anaesthesia, Perioperative Medicine, and Pain Medicine at Peter Mac, has received a grant to lead a project that aims to use pharmacogenomics to improve patient recovery following surgery. This grant stems from the ongoing collaboration between Dr Michelle Gerstman (PhD candidate, Consultant Anaesthetist) and Professor Bernhard Riedel at Peter Mac and Professors Andrew Somogyi (University of Adelaide) and Carl Kirkpatrick (Monash University).

“Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genetic variations affect patients’ drug responses. It provides insights into how a patient might metabolise a drug,” Professor Riedel said.

“The project will determine if it is possible to conduct pharmacogenomics testing prior to surgery. This information will then be used to tailor anaesthetic drugs based on the test results to improve safety, recovery and comfort after surgery.”

Through another MRFF grant, Peter Mac researchers will collaborate with the Doherty Institute to research appropriate antimicrobial use. Professor Karin Thursky will lead a project involving the National Centre for Infections in Cancer and collaborators across the precinct to research the use of data science to undertake appropriate antimicrobial surveillance.

The following researchers from Peter Mac also received MRFF funding to work collaboratively with different organisations:

  • Professor Joe Trapani and Dr Mohamed Fareh will work with Professor Sharon Lewin from the Doherty Institute on a project entitled “mRNA-based antiviral therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2 using Cas13”
  • Dr Ben Teh will work with Professor Katherine Kedzierska from the Doherty Institute to understand, “Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 variants across age groups and vulnerable populations”
  • Associate Professor Nick Clemons will collaborate with Professor Michael Brown from University of South Australia on a project to improve outcomes in patients with poor prognosis cancers.  Their project is, “Gene modified pluripotent stem cells to generate and empower innate immune cells against poor-prognosis cancers.” 


For more information or to arrange an interview, call the Communications team on 0417 123 048.