Brightest minds power quest for brain cancer cure

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

The world’s best and brightest experts on the quest to find a cure for brain cancer will unite in Newcastle to share research insights and identify further ways to collaborate and accelerate their mission.

Kirralee and Mark Hughes and Associate Professor Paul TooneyThe University of Newcastle’s Mark Hughes Foundation Centre for Brain Cancer Research will stage its inaugural Brain Cancer Research Symposium on Thursday 25 May.

Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in children, and adults aged under 40 in Australia, yet alarmingly very little is known about brain cancer, its causes or how it is treated.

Established in 2022 based on long and successful partnership committed to the same mission, the Mark Hughes Foundation Centre for Brain Cancer Research at the University of Newcastle is driving critical research, education, and health care improvements at a national scale for brain cancer patients, their families and carers, and health professionals.

The inaugural symposium program will explore the Centre’s six research streams: patient experience, paediatric brain cancer, experimental therapeutics, brain cancer imaging, translational neuroscience and blood-based biomarkers; and include a session on national collaboration and research groups.

Mark Hughes Foundation Centre for Brain Cancer Research Chair and Director Professor Mike Fay said the symposium would bring together academics and clinicians from across Australia and the globe to explore the symposium’s theme: ‘How can we collaborate to accelerate brain cancer research?’

“Newcastle is recognised for the strength of its medical research and clinical practice. Through the work of the Centre, we continue to work in partnership with our colleagues at HMRI, our local health district and peers around the world to pursue the mission of the Mark Hughes Foundation,” Professor Fay said.

“The University of Newcastle’s inaugural Brain Cancer Research Symposium gives us the opportunity to come together to explore more ways to accelerate advances through collaboration.

“It will be a highly valuable exercise in our shared pursuit of research discoveries and health care improvements for brain cancer patients, their families and carers, and health professionals.”

Former Newcastle Knights NRL and NSW Origin player Mark Hughes said he believed teamwork would be the key to advancing research to help families affected by brain cancer.

“I have played team sport all of my life. I believe in teamwork and that if a group is working together in the pursuit of a common goal, magic happens and premierships are won,” Mark said.

“This same mentality is the driving force at the MHF Centre for Brain Cancer Research at the University of Newcastle. By working together, I truly believe we can find better treatments for brain cancer and give hope to myself and so many others affected by this terrible disease.”

Symposium speakers will include Dr Alexander Lin, Director of the Centre for Clinical Spectroscopy, Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School; and Royal Melbourne Hospital neurosurgeon, Associate Professor Andrew Morokoff, who will discuss collaboration to improve blood-based biomarker analysis in patients.

University of Newcastle’s Professor Hubert Hondermarck will speak on the emerging role of neurons in brain cancer; and Hunter Medical Research Institute Director Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin will talk about supporting families on a brain cancer journey through The Carewell Project.

Other speakers will include Calvary Mater medical oncologist and University of Newcastle cancer researcher Associate Professor Craig Gedye; and Elise Greedy, Natasha Malcom and Nicole Allen will highlight the role of the Mark Hughes Foundation Brain Cancer Care Coordinators.

WHAT: The University of Newcastle’s Mark Hughes Foundation Centre for Brain Cancer inaugural Brain Cancer Research Symposium

WHERE: Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) in the Caves Lecture Theatre & Haggerty Lounge, L4 Newcastle

WHEN: 9am-4pm.

Further information about the University of Newcastle MHF Centre for Brain Cancer Research.

* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.


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