Australian National University (ANU) researchers have established Canberra’s first Brain Cancer Biobank, funded by a $300,000 grant from the 2022 ACT Health Research Innovation Fund.
Led by Professor Leonie Quinn and Canberra Brain Cancer Collaborative, the biobank stores biospecimens and genetic data from brain cancer patients treated at the Canberra Hospital.
Researchers at ANU’s John Curtin School of Medical Research use this information create 3D bio-printed “mini brains”. The small models allow researchers to study how brain tumours develop and respond to treatments in a replicated environment.
This biobank is part of the larger Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia network, which links researchers across the country by providing access to brain cancer tissue, samples, and data. This collaboration equips researchers with the tools they need to make progress.
This initiative has impacts beyond the laboratory. Brain cancer patients in Canberra now have access, if they elect, to advanced analyses of their condition, guiding them toward clinical trials and emerging treatments.
All recipients of the Research Innovation Fund grants play a crucial role in advancing research and healthcare.
Five fellowships through the Research Innovation Fund 2023 have recently been announced, supporting early and mid-career Canberra health researchers. The diverse research projects selected include enhancing post-diagnostic care for dementia patients, supporting community response to voluntary assisted dying, and studying allergies and immunodeficiencies of patients in the ACT.