Ez Aldeen Esawi awarded the second David Beale Scholarship in Prostate Cancer Research

The South Australian immunoGENomics Cancer Institute (SAiGENCI) congratulates PhD student Mr Ez Aldeen Esawi on being awarded the second David Beale Supplementary Scholarship in Prostate Cancer Research.

Ez Aldeen Eswai

Mr Ez Aldeen Esawi is a University of Adelaide PhD student in the Prostate Cancer Research Group with the South Australian immunoGENomics Cancer Institute. 

The scholarship was established in 2023 from a generous donation to the University of Adelaide and SAiGENCI from Mr David Beale, to support outstanding emerging researchers in better understanding the causes and exploring potential treatments and cures for prostate cancer.  The inaugural scholarship was awarded last year to PhD candidate An Dieu Trang Nguyen.

Mr David Beale established the scholarship to honour his father, the late Honourable Dr Jack Gordon Beale AO who passed away in 2006 from prostate cancer.  Dr Jack Beale was Australia’s first Environment Minister who championed the conservation and development of Australia’s water resources and was a man of science and a staunch advocate of education and research.

Originating from Jordan, Ez Aldeen completed a Bachelor of Science (Hashemite University) and Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Sciences (University of Jordan).  Ez Aldeen then moved to Adelaide in mid-2023 joining the Prostate Cancer Research Group at SAiGENCI to undertake a PhD with Dr Zeyad Nassar and Professor Lisa Butler

“The decision to relocate to Adelaide for my PhD was rooted in my understanding of the pivotal role collaboration plays in research, which I cultivated during my work at Alshaers’s lab in Jordan.  Recognising the significance of aligning with a research group that fosters collaboration and innovation, I chose Professor Lisa Butler’s Prostate Cancer Research Group to embark on my PhD journey.  The University of Adelaide offered an environment conducive to such collaboration, providing the ideal setting for me to pursue my academic and research aspirations.  By immersing myself in this environment, I am confident in my ability to thrive and contribute meaningfully to prostate cancer research”, said Mr Ez Aldeen Esawi.

Ez Aldeen's PhD research is examining the influence of fatty acid oxidation on prostate cancer progression.  In particular, he is exploring whether fatty acid oxidation pathways cause changes to cell proteins called histones (via changes to histone acetylation profiles), resulting in changes to the way DNA is packaged and read.  Changes in the way genetic information is processed is known as epigenetics.  This crosstalk between metabolism and epigenetics is hypothesised to be a non-genetic mode of resistance to cancer therapy, particularly in aggressive prostate tumours resistant to treatment.

In receiving the David Beale Supplementary Scholarship in Prostate Cancer Research Ez Aldeen said:

“I expressed my delight in being awarded this prestigious opportunity. The scholarship not only provides crucial support and resources to advance my studies but also emphasises my dedication to making a significant difference in tackling this complex disease.”Ez Aldeen Esawi

Recipients of the David Beale Scholarship in Prostate Cancer Research receive a supplementary scholarship of $10,000 per annum and $5,000 towards travel to attend a scientific conference to share their research or other research-related costs.

Ez Aldeen plans to use the travel funding towards attendance at a relevant overseas conference to network, exchange knowledge, and stay updated on the latest advancements in cancer metabolism and treatment strategies.  He also plans to visit and conduct experiments with collaborators in Sydney who have extensive expertise in fatty acid oxidation.

“I firmly believe that the findings from my proposed research will not only contribute to a deeper understanding of prostate cancer pathogenesis but also hold significant promise for the development of innovative treatment modalities aimed at overcoming therapy resistance.”

SAiGENCI wishes Ez Aldeen all the best for his PhD research and looks forward to hearing his discoveries in the coming years.

Tagged in SAiGENCI, cancer research, scholarships, PhD, David Beale