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The Translational Cancer Research Program is focused on developing research infrastructure to translate laboratory discoveries into new cancer treatments and medicines. Through collaboration and engagement, we are constructing a pipeline that includes a cancer tissue biobank, platforms for the generation of research data and a digital environment to analyse, capture and share integrated research and clinical data. The Perkins Cancer Biobank became operational in 2020 and we are now collecting tumour samples in collaboration with Surgeons, Oncologists and Pathologists across several Perth hospitals. These samples are being analysed using state of the art omics technologies (including genomics, single cell sequencing, metabolomics, proteomics) to provide detailed molecular characterisation of individual cancers. We are also developing preclinical models including cancer organoids, slice cultures and improved in vivo laboratory models to evaluate immunotherapy drugs more accurately. These laboratory models are being used to assess new treatments as well as new combination therapies.

This infrastructure will facilitate improved preclinical assessment of new cancer medicines, resulting in greater success rates for clinical trials and better outcomes for cancer patients. In addition, these data will advance the development of novel biomarkers needed to better monitor pharmacodynamics, predict response and resistance to specific drugs as well as enable better stratification of target populations.

I. Perkins Cancer Biobank (please link to Biobank page)
II. Patient derived organoids and slice cultures
III. In vivo preclinical cancer models

Larissa Dymond

Research Officer


Perkins researcher elected as prestigious new Fellow

Professor Alistair Forrest from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research has been selected alongside 27 new Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Professor Forrest is internationally regarded for his pioneering work, which has been driving forward our understanding of human diseases and the complex behaviour…

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Molecular machines stop cancer’s clock

Head of the laboratory for Synthetic Biology and Drug Discovery, Professor Oliver Rackham, says cancer cells grow uncontrollably whereas normal cells limit their growth. “A normal cell grows for just the right amount of time that is required for us to develop and maintain our bodies. “They control their growth with…

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Stem cell reprogramming mystery clarified by new findings

In a study, published in Cell Stem Cell, researchers from the University of Western Australia, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, and Monash University describe key drivers of the process by which cells from mature tissues of the body, such as skin, can be deliberately converted into stem cells that…

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