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March 16, 2017

NBCF supports rising stars in breast cancer research

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is proud to launch its Endowed Chairs program, which provides up-and-coming breast cancer researchers with funding for 10 years.

The inaugural grants have been awarded to Associate Professor Elgene Lim from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (NSW) and Associate Professor Sherene Loi from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (VIC).

These two bright stars in Australian research were supported with funding from NBCF early in their careers and are now recognised as emerging leaders with the potential to contribute significantly to breast cancer research and to help achieve NBCF’s goal of zero deaths by 2030.

Benefits of longer-term funding

This longer term funding is intended to give greater financial stability in breast cancer research, so researchers don’t have to spend valuable time writing grant applications, can build up their labs and focus on achieving outstanding results from their research program.

The ultimate goal of this new funding model is to bring the benefits of research to women and men affected by breast cancer much faster.


Making treatments work better

“We need a network of like-minded scientists, clinicians and patients, a platform for collaboration, and a pipeline to rapidly bring discoveries into clinical trials,” says Associate Professor Elgene Lim.

Associate Professor Elgene Lim is a medical oncologist and researcher with a focus on breast cancer research and treatment. His lab is working to overcoming cancer’s resistance to the hormone treatments used on the largest subtype of breast cancer – estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. Over the next 10 years, his research program will bring researchers, clinicians and patients together to facilitate the rapid translation of new therapeutic strategies from the laboratory into clinical trials – realising the philosophy of bench to bedside – and making sure the benefits are felt by those directly impacted by breast cancer.

Immunotherapy for breast cancer

“I believe that understanding the immune and genetic makeup of a person’s breast cancer will help advance our understanding of its clinical implications as well as speed up clinical trials progress,” says Associate Professor Sherene Loi.

Associate Professor Sherene Loi is also a medical oncologist and breast cancer researcher specialising in the treatment of breast cancer. Her lab is focused on developing new treatments, in particular combining targeted and immune therapies for breast cancer patients. these treatments have the potential to be more effective, less toxic and provide better quality of life for those undergoing breast cancer treatment. Another part of her program includes an active clinical trial program which will provide Australian women access to promising new therapies.