Matt Trau

For Professor Matt Trau, cancer is personal. The day he won an NBCF grant, his closest friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, who recalls “It hit home for me and really crystallized my thinking about improving outcomes for patients with our research.”

Leading a diverse team of highly skilled and experienced researchers, Professor Matt Trau from the University of Queensland is using innovative nano-technology to help detect cancer at the earliest stage.


“Every cancer is quite unique, and this is incredibly frustrating for researchers. There is no one magical cure.”

This project brings together nanotechnologists, breast cancer clinicians, pathologist and world-leading geneticists to discover new genetic ‘biomarkers’ of breast cancer, as well as developing innovative nanotechnology to read such information from blood or tissue.
Professor Trau and his team hope they may be able to improve patient survival through early detection of breast cancer and by helping to personalise the therapy of patients already diagnosed with breast cancer.

“If we can do this, we could convert advanced breast cancer from a death sentence to a manageable disease that can be treated through the full duration of someone’s life,” says Professor Trau.

“NBCF’s grant has been absolutely transformative for our research,” he says. “We’re so grateful to the supporters who make this happen.”
Research like Professor Trau’s has the potential to make major improvements in breast cancer care and moving us closer to zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.