New research opportunity

CIKA is reviewing a proposal to fund early-stage research led by Professor David Eisenstat, Director of the Childrens’ Cancer Centre at the RCH and Group Leader, Neuro-oncology at Murdoch Childrens’ Research Institute (MCRI). The proposal is for a 3-year funding commitment for a Solid Tumour Research Assistant in Professor Eisenstat’s lab at MCRI. The Solid Tumours Research Assistant will expand the Eisenstat’s lab research footprint towards fully establishing several leading-edge research projects novel to Australia studying the developmental origins of all solid tumours including brain tumours, retinoblastoma, and neuroblastoma.

Initial Research Areas:

  • Brain tumours, specifically focussed on Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG, formerly DIPG) and high-grade gliomas. DMGs are uniformly fatal despite current therapies and this represents a major unmet need.
  • Malignant eye cancer, retinoblastoma.
  • Neuroblastoma, the most common solid tumour in children after brain tumours as a group. This work will draw on the large number of neuroblastoma tumour specimens stored in the Children’s Cancer Centre Biobank.

Expected outcomes:

The establishment of the Solid Tumours Research Assistant role would contribute to:

  • A nationally competitive research program focused on the developmental origins of childhood solid tumours including brain tumours, retinoblastoma, and neuroblastoma.
  • Increased research capacity for training highly qualified personnel with expertise regarding the developmental, cell and molecular genetic regulation of gene expression in retina and sympathetic nervous system development and related childhood solid tumours including brain
  • tumours, retinoblastoma and neuroblastoma, respectively.
  • Improved links of basic, translational, and clinical research in childhood solid tumours within the Campus, the Parkville precinct including the VCCC and WEHI, the State of Victoria, Australia and internationally.

Alignment with CIKA research objectives:
This proposal is in line CIKA’s objective of funding research that encompasses all solid tumours, has
the potential to benefit children currently undergoing treatment, builds on work CIKA has previously
funded, and advances early-stage research.