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AUSiMED is a not-for-profit organisation that enables world-leading Israeli and Australian medical scientists to work together on the discovery of vitally-needed new medical treatments.

In 2021 AUSiMED is delighted to be working with Australian Friends of Rambam to support an ovarian cancer research project and fellowship that will help save women’s lives.

Genetics and heritage play a considerable role in cancer rates and survival. For women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent like us, the statistics are particularly grim. Our entire families, as well as our broader community, have a 1 in 40 chance of carrying the BRCA 1 gene mutation (compared with 1 in 400 chance in the general population). This places women like us at a much more significant risk of both breast and ovarian cancer. The key to survival is further scientific research.

The scientists
Dr. Ruth Perets, Director of the Women’s Cancer Laboratory and oncologist at Rambam Hospital in Israel. She is a principal investigator on all Phase 1 clinical trials in Rambam’s Oncology Division.

Assoc. Professor Ron Firestein, Head of the Cancer Centre at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research is an expert in functional genomic technologies to identify new targets for cancer therapy. Based in Melbourne, Australia, The Hudson Institute houses the largest group of inflammation researchers in Australia. The Institute is recognised nationally and internationally for research and innovation in understanding the impact of inflammation on human health and the delivery of new treatments for a range of infant, child and adult health conditions. https://hudson.org.au

AUSiMED research
This research aims to develop a new therapy to treat women diagnosed in late stages of ovarian cancer and potentially prolong their lives. Dr Perets has shown that removing a protein called PAX8 from ovarian cancer cells leads to cancer cell death.

This is exciting research because it means that PAX8 could be a plausible target for ovarian cancer therapy. Dr Perets and Associate Professor Firestein are combining their expertise to discover which proteins regulate the expression of PAX8 in ovarian cancer and in normal cells. These proteins will be tested to determine their potential as targets for ovarian cancer therapy.

2021 Ovarian Cancer Research Project and Fellowship
This project will enable a 12-month Research Fellowship for Dr Sari Boulos, a gynaecologist from Rambam Hospital in Israel.

Dr Boulos will receive advanced research training in Australia under the guidance of Assoc Prof Firestein. He will acquire expertise in genetic screening technologies that are needed to advance translational ovarian cancer research in Israel.

After the fellowship year, the research team is planning to advance the new therapy through pre-clinical validation and clinical trials.

View a recent webinar conducted by the scientists



Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
of Medical Research

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