Men's health research wins $3 million

Friday, 30 October 2009

Researchers with the Freemason's Foundation Centre for Men's Health at the University of Adelaide have collectively won more than $3 million in project funding to continue important research into men's health and wellbeing.

A research team led by Professor Gary Wittert, Mortlock Professor of Medicine and founding member of the Freemason's Foundation Centre for Men's Health at the University of Adelaide, has been awarded $1.76m by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to support the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study (FAMAS) for the next three years.

This project was established in 2002 and is one of only four studies of its kind around the world to track changes in men's health as they age. The funding from the NHMRC enables FAMAS to increase the number of men studied to more than 2000, by forming a partnership with a compatible cohort of similarly aged men in the North Western region of Adelaide. A partnership with the Massachusetts Male Ageing Study (MMAS) offers a unique opportunity to test the reliability of the FAMAS results with data from another population.

A research team led by Professor Wayne Tilley, Head of the Centre for Cancer Research at the University of Adelaide's Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratory, and founding member of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health, has won $688,875 from the NHMRC to continue vital research over the next three years into the role that androgen signalling plays in the development and progression of prostate cancer. Using their unique prostate cancer models, Professor Tilley and his team aim to identify key genes involved in the development of prostate tumours which can be used to predict the potential for the cancer to spread and disease lethality.

Dr Grant Buchanan, Head of the Molecular Ageing Laboratory at the University of Adelaide and Freemasons Foundation Research Fellow, has been awarded a lucrative NHMRC Career Development Award (Level A) valued at $400,000 over three years. Dr Buchanan's research, combining molecular, preclinical and clinical research with contemporary genomic technology and drug discovery, aims to define how testosterone acts to promote and control prostate cancer and to identify genes that are associated with prostate cancer progression that might also be used for early diagnosis. In 2008, Dr Buchanan was the recipient of a Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia worth $100,000 per year for four years.

Professor Richard Ivell from the School of Molecular and Biomedical Science at the University of Adelaide, and founding member of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health, is to receive $340,000 from the Australian Research Council (ARC) over the next three years to investigate the effect of manmade chemicals in the environment on human health. These chemicals may mimic natural hormones, and in so doing, disrupt their action leading to abnormalities in development, cancer, and ageing.

"These substantial funding successes reflect increasing awareness of the importance and value of dedicated research into factors affecting men's health and the quality of work being undertaken by research members of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health at the University of Adelaide," Professor Wittert says.

For more information about the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health visit: www.adelaide.edu.au/menshealth

 

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Professor Gary Wittert
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