2022 Pancare Scholarships & Awards Program update
Pancare Foundation’s Scholarships & Awards Program includes regular awarding of funds to emerging researchers with high-quality projects that have the best chance of positively impacting the lives of those who are affected by pancreatic, oesophageal, stomach, liver and biliary cancers.
Investing in early career scientists and their research is a wonderful way to help build the careers of young researchers and to extend the capacity of our scientific community. Each project brings us closer to understanding the biology, treatment, and potential cures for upper gastrointestinal cancers.
We awarded two PhD scholarships in 2021. Antonia Cadell from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research received the Phil Sly Research Scholarship. She is currently studying the role of novel therapeutic agents in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Dr Michael Kuan-Ching Lee, a medical oncologist from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, received the Damien Woodruff Scholarship. His research is investigating alternative splicing as a new therapeutic strategy for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Dr Lee’s project will improve the understanding of the complex genetic events that occur during the development of pancreatic cancer.
An early career fellowship is an award for scientists who have recently completed their PhD studies and wish to continue to focus on a specific area of study. We currently sponsor Dr Natalia Castano-Rodriguez from the University of NSW for her project examining the role of lactate producing bacteria in gastric cancer. This research will improve our understanding of the risk factors and contribute towards early detection of gastric cancer in the future.
This year, through the generous support of our benefactors, we have been able to fund two new PhD students through the Timothy McGahan PhD Scholarship and a post-doctoral research fellow through the Smith-Barrett Early Career Research Fellowship Award.
We promoted the 2022 opportunities to a wide range of research institutions around Australia. We also liaised closely with Pancare’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) to help identify the most promising candidates and research projects.
We received 12 applications from across Australia and we were delighted with the calibre of projects and researchers. Fellowship and PhD recipients have been notified and have enthusiastically accepted their scholarships offers.
A focus of our discussions with the students and their supervisors has been the Pancare partnership opportunity. We want to build long-term relationships with these researchers and their teams. Our support includes a scholarship to contribute to their studies, education in public presentations and sharing their research to patients, carers and supporters. One research supervisor made the point that without Pancare’s support, these early career researchers would be unable to continue their studies.
We appreciate the opportunity to play a role in building the capability of our scientific colleagues. We also thank the MAC team for their guidance and support.
The successful applicants will be announced on 1 July 2022. You can look forward to hearing about the recipients, their projects and what drives their motivation to work in upper GI cancer research.
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