Funding boost for precision medicine research

Our research’s impact is clear: our work drives new treatments for paediatric diseases while cutting healthcare costs. Luminesce Alliance has achieved a 12-fold return on the NSW Government’s $24 million investment for the Centre for Pediatric Precision Medicine, securing $294 million in additional research grants. Two examples of projects attracting extra funding to advance precision medicine are showcased below.

World-leading researchers investigating stem cell therapies and RNA diagnostics have been awarded prestigious Australian Government Medical Research Future Fund grants.

The investment aids the continuation of research that has been previously supported by Luminesce Alliance funding.

The Stem Cell Medicine Group at the Children’s Medical Research Institute, led by Dr Anai Gonzalez Cordero, has been awarded $2.5 million to develop high-quality stem cells that will lay the foundation for Australia’s first cell therapies to treat vision loss in people with inherited diseases of the retina.

Dr Gonzalez Cordero’s work involves transforming small samples of skin or blood into stem cells – these are a form of early cell in human development that can turn into any cell type in the body. The work involves generating stem cell lines under laboratory conditions that are “clinical grade”. These will become a rich source of cells for studying cell replacement therapies for retinal and other diseases.

The research team also includes Professor Claire Wakefield, Director of the Behavioural Sciences Unit at the School of Clinical Medicine, UNSW Sydney and at Sydney Children’s Hospital, and Kate Hetherington, Clinical Psychologist and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Behavioural Sciences Unit at the School of Clinical Medicine, UNSW — whose work investigates the psychosocial implications of precision medicine.

Watch Dr Gonzalez Cordero explain stem cell medicine:

Professor Sandra Cooper, Adjunct Research Scientist at CMRI and Co-Head and Scientific Director of Kids Neuroscience Centre at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (Westmead) has been awarded $2.9 million to integrate RNA testing into mainstream clinical practice.

For many individuals with genetic diseases, it is still not possible to find the cause by sequencing the patient’s DNA, but for many of those undiagnosed patients the answer can be found by analysing the RNA. Professor Cooper’s project involves a nationwide collaboration between research centres, pathology labs and clinical genetic departments to embed RNA Diagnostics as a new option for clinical diagnostics.

Read more on the CMRI website



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Zero Childhood Cancer National Symposium

The inaugural Zero Childhood Cancer (ZERO) National Symposium is being held from 26-27 October 2022 in Sydney, showcasing research and clinical innovation in paediatric cancer.

Bringing together leading national and international speakers at the cutting edge of childhood cancer research, the exciting two-day event is a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary exchange of progress and discoveries in the expansive field of paediatric oncology precision medicine.

Find out more and register here

The theme for the meeting ‘Towards Precision Oncology for All’ will emphasise recent developments in paediatric cancer research, with an array of exceptional speakers at varying career stages, covering different areas of our discipline.

The program includes two international plenary speakers and seven national invited speaker sessions, selected oral, rapid-fire and poster presentations, career and family perspective sessions and more.

The content will cover a broad range of topics, relevant to the field of paediatric cancer, including:

  • Cancer biology and clinical translation
  • Genetics, genomics and cancer predisposition
  • Psychosocial research, and ethics
  • Functional biology and preclinical modelling

ZERO Childhood Cancer is an initiative of our partner organisation the — Children’s Cancer Insitute — and the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick.



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Luminesce Alliance Impact for Children’s Health Report 2021

Our Impact Report highlights the impact of the Paediatric Precision Medicine Program and the transformational research and discovery opportunities that lay ahead. It is also a celebration of the collaboration and capability of our partners, which together will continue to position NSW as a leader in innovative translational research that will change children’s health around the world.


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