Conference targets disease via human growth factors

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

A key group of scientists from around Australia and the world will converge on Adelaide this week for a conference that delves into the latest research into conditions such as diabetes, cancer and infertility.

The conference, IGF-OZ 2008 - The insulin-like growth factor system and related proteins in development and disease, is being hosted by the University of Adelaide at the National Wine Centre this Thursday and Friday, 15 and 16 May.

The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system is involved in the regulation of fundamental developmental and growth processes in the body. Disturbance of this system leads to growth defects and disease, including cancer and diabetes.

"The IGF system is an important system in the body that impacts on a wide range of disease and conditions, and is the focus of major, world-wide research efforts to assist humankind," says conference co-organiser Dr Briony Forbes, NHMRC Senior Research Officer with the University's School of Molecular and Biomedical Science.

"There is a strong and diverse IGF research community in Australia, particularly within South Australia, with an international reputation for excellence.

"Our research is an outstanding example of the need for both basic and applied research. The IGF community makes a major contribution to basic research, as well as to the biotechnology industry, and our work also informs clinical practice, resulting in benefits to the public," she says.

"The IGF system is very important to development, disease and reproduction in livestock, which means that agricultural industries also stand to benefit from our work."

Over the two days in Adelaide, the IGF research community, other researchers and representatives from the biotechnology industry will discuss a range of vitally important research areas, such as fetal development, cancer, immunology and growth factor structural and molecular interactions.

There are two international keynote speakers at the conference:

  • Dr Miguel Const├óncia (Babraham Institute, UK), Imprinting and Fetal Growth; and
  • Professor Terri Wood (NJMS-UH Cancer Center Newark, USA), IGF System in Breast Cancer.

For more details, including the full conference program, visit the IGF-OZ 2008 website:


Contact Details

Dr Briony Forbes
NHMRC Senior Research Officer
School of Molecular and Biomedical Science
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5581
Mobile: 0414 960 848

Professor Claire Roberts
Robinson Research Institute
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 3118
Mobile: +61 (0)406 381 575

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762