The Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and Metabolic Medicine

The Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and Metabolic Medicine

Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and Metabolic Medicine was newly created in Apr. 2008 for the University of Queensland, based at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. The Institute focuses on translational research, which works to produce better outcomes for patient treatment. Nearly 200 researchers and postgraduate students work at the Institute within ten research teams divided into three major programs – immunology, cancer cell biology and metabolism.

Ian Frazer is head of the Institute, which was created by combining the Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research and the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology Research. Frazer, an immunologist, is well known for his work on the development of a cervical cancer vaccine, which works by protecting women from Human papillomavirus.

Researchers in the immunology research program, headed by Matt Brown, focus on understanding immune physiology, investigating dendritic cell biology, immunotherapy, and musculoskeletal genetics, in order to design better therapeutics for patients.

The cancer biology research program, headed by Tom Gonda, exploits the biology of cancers to develop new anti-cancer therapies through four research areas – investigating molecular oncogenesis, epithelial pathobiology, molecular virology and cell cycle biology.

Researchers in the molecular oncogenesis group focus on the molecular regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation in normal and malignant cells, in particular on the identification and characterisation of oncogenes. Of particular interest are haemopoietic cells and mammary epithelium, which are involved in leukaemias and breast cancer.

Gonda's previous research involved work on two molecules involved in haemopoiesis – the MYB oncoprotein and the receptor for the cytokine GM-CSF. Unique cell systems were developed that enable researchers to approach important issues in normal and leukaemic haemopoiesis. The group are also looking at the role of the MYB gene in breast cancer.

The metabolic research program, headed by John Prins, focuses on a broad range of metabolic disorders including diabetes, obesity, cell signaling, liver metabolism, bone metabolism, pregnancy-related metabolic disorders and endocrine cancers. Basic research is conducted in hormone signaling, adipose, bone and liver cell function and metabolism. Researchers also conduct clinical research with investigator-driven studies in patients with Type 2 diabetes, obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and renal disease.

External links

* [http://www.di.uq.edu.au Dimantina Institute official website]
* [http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/104871.php Article for D.I.'s opening ]


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