2019 Research Grants
The AMRF has awarded the 2019 research projects. Quality applications were received from around the country to make a very competitive field.
Thanks to our generous donors throughout the year, we are once again thrilled to announce our research grants for 2019.
In line with our vision going forward, these grants continue the work in different areas of research which investigate the many different pathways that will ultimately change outcomes for people diagnosed with melanoma, and to improve the current alarming statistics.
It is only with the support of our melanoma community, AMRF team and board that we can strive to achieve the best outcome now and for future generations.
We wish to acknowledge the incredible support given by donors, volunteers and fundraisers Australia wide. Thank you.
Ms Samantha Watson and Dr Pablo Garcia Valtanen
Introducing Dr Pablo Garcia Valtanen, supervisor for Ms Samantha Watson, a PhD student at University of South Australia (UniSA), who is investigating the potential for treating melanoma with a medicine that has successfully targeted oesophageal cancer cells in the laboratory. Although different, certain cancerous cells in the oesophagus and in melanoma share common traits such as the expression of disease specific molecules on their surface.
One of these molecules, is the focus of Ms Watson’s project which is trying to find new ways for treating melanoma. Her goal is to establish the potential for the use of antibodies in the clinic. This strategy has already generated positive results with oesophageal cancer models and Ms Watson now expects to replicate this success in melanoma cells.
Meet the team
Ms Samantha J Watson
Currently an Honours degree student at the Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory (ETL) and PhD candidate from next year. The work funded by the AMRF will be integrated as part of Samantha’s thesis project to conduct laboratory tests towards a new treatment method to complement existing chemotherapy drugs.
Dr Pablo Garcia Valtanen
Postdoctoral scientist managing and supervising the Niumed project for the last 2 years. Dr Garcia Valtanen will directly supervise and contribute to Samantha’s work funded by AMRF.
Ms Jamie Zhang
An experienced Research Officer who has worked on all aspects of the Niumed project for the last 3 years and contributed enormously to the success of the project.
Professor John D Hayball
Head of the Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory and professor at University of South Australia supervises different projects that link industry and academia to bring therapeutic candidates closer to the clinic and treat cancer as well as infectious diseases.
Mr Antony Scammell
Founder and Director of Niumed Pty Ltd. Mr Scammell has funded, supervised and worked for many years to bring the Niumed project to its current state where candidate antibodies against the human EPHB4 receptor have been developed to successfully attack cancer cells.
The AMRF is committed to funding research aimed at furthering knowledge and offering better outcomes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of melanoma.
The AMRF will focus on supporting early career researchers in Australia.