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University of Queensland and Life Technologies Collaborate on Landmark Cancer Research Studies in Australia

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The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and Life Technologies Corporation has announced a strategic scientific research collaboration to study pancreatic and ovarian cancer in Australia.

This landmark study involves the genomic analysis of pancreatic and ovarian tumors, using advanced sequencing technology from Applied Biosystems, part of Life Technologies, to further translational research. The study utilizes genomic information to develop potential therapeutic solutions for these diseases, which kill more than 3,000 Australians each year.

Through this collaboration, IMB is scaling up its use of SOLiD systems through the acquisition of nine new platforms, for a total of 11 instruments. The IMB is deploying SOLiD technology for its participation in the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), an international effort of 11 countries and funding agencies to perform comprehensive analysis of the genomic changes underlying eight types of cancer.

The SOLiD systems will be used by IMB to study 500 pancreatic and ovarian tumors, comparing the genomic information with that of normal tissue samples. Applied Biosystems’ instrument service and support, along with bioinformatics analytical support, will also be utilized to better understand and identify the amount, kind and specific location of genetic variations within the tumors.

The SOLiD system will enable the IMB scientists to systematically sequence and map genetic changes that occur in each of these cancers, and help provide the foundation for identifying new therapies, diagnostics and preventive strategies. In almost all forms of cancer, there are changes that impact on the genome or ‘genetic blueprint’ of cells, causing disruptions within normal biological pathways and leading to uncontrolled cell growth.

Sean Grimmond, PhD, group leader in the genomics and computational group at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, “The SOLiD system will enable us to conduct complete genomic surveys of cancerous tumors and better understand the factors, including structural variants and single nucleotide polymorphisms, which are promoting uncontrolled growth within the tumor. By discovering the genes that are the key suspects in driving a cancer, we can begin to develop targeted drug therapies.”

Mark Stevenson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Life Technologies, “Life Technologies is committed to working with institutions around the world to help deliver the potential of translational research. We believe that our collaboration with the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience will enable the application of scientific discoveries in clinical outcomes, such as new diagnostics and treatments, accelerating the promise of personalized medicine.”