WAIMR Researcher Wins Award for Endocrine Research
October 2nd, 2012
Patrick Candy and A/Prof Vicki Clifton, President of the Endocrine Society of Australia
Western Australian Institute for Medical Research PhD student Patrick Candy has won a prestigious award at the Endocrine Society of Australia’s Annual Scientific Meeting on the Gold Coast.
Patrick’s presentation ‘The role of SLIRP and Notch signalling in colorectal cancer’ earned him the Novartis Junior Scientist Award which grants prize money of $5,000.
Patrick works in Professor Peter Leedman’s laboratory for cancer medicine investigating the impact of SLIRP and Notch signalling on colorectal cancer.
“My work on colorectal cancer focuses on the SLIRP gene and oncogenic Notch signalling, a key pathway in cancer progression to chemoresistant, metastatic disease,” Patrick said.
Notch signalling has been identified as a major driver for the growth of a wide range of tumours, from leukaemia to breast cancer. Evidence is emerging to suggest that inhibiting Notch can supress tumour growth.
“There are currently 25 different Notch inhibitors being tested in clinical trials to reduce the death of cancer patients,” Patrick said.
Patrick’s background in computer science, biotech and bioinformatics allow him to collect and interrogate large quantities of biological data.
“I firstly investigated the clinical significance of the Notch signalling pathway in colorectal cancer patients, focusing on its effects on overall survival, risk of relapse following surgery and chemotherapy response rates,” Patrick said.
Ultimately, Patrick’s research aims to provide information to guide therapeutic decisions that may improve patient prognosis, through personalised medicine for cancer patients.
Patrick also investigates the impact of SLIRP, a gene discovered by WAIMR researcher Professor Peter Leedman.
SLIRP is a gene that regulates hormones in the body, limiting the spread and resistance of cancers to chemotherapy.
“I have discovered a new way to repress oncogenic Notch signalling in colorectal cancer by the protein SLIRP. In addition, I found high tumor SLIRP levels were linked to improved survival of patients” Patrick said.
Patrick’s research also won him an Outstanding Abstract Award at the American Endocrine Expo held in Houston, Texas in June 2012.
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