Award for Outstanding Research

Their team’s discovery of the breast stem cell laid an important foundation for understanding how normal breast tissue develops and is likely to provide clues about how breast cancer develops and how rogue cells evade current therapies. It is likely to form the basis of international research in breast cancer for years to come. The discovery of a luminal precursor breast cell, which forms part of the hierarchy of cells in breast tissue. This cell may be a key target for mutation in the majority of breast cancers.

The demonstration that LMO4 and GATA-3 are key regulators in breast tissue: overproduction of LMO4 leads to breast cancer; while GATA-3 is a critical factor for driving maturation of breast ductal cells and is an important suppressor of breast tumours.

“The ultimate goal of our research is to identify the cells and molecular pathways that are responsible for sustaining tumours. If we can achieve this, then we should be able to develop more effective prognostic markers, and importantly, novel targeted therapies,” said Visvader.

“Visvader and Lindeman are deserving winners of the award. Their outstanding research in the field of breast cancer and stem cell biology offers great hope for better understanding and better treatment for breast cancer. The GlaxoSmithKline Award for Research Excellence is awarded annually to recognise Australia’s world class scientists for their outstanding achievements in research discovery that has the potential to lead to significant benefits in human health,” said Dr Michael Elliott, Medical Director, GlaxoSmithKline Australia.; Source: Research Australia