Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics together with Germany’s Bremen University have received funding to continue a research exchange program which will see them begin testing its newly developed chemotherapy drug to treat non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, one of the ten most common cancers in the world, is a type of blood cancer involving the lymphatic system.
Together scientists at the Institute for Glycomics led by Dr Thomas Haselhorst and Bremen University’s Professor Sørge Kelm have developed this new drug over the past three years and now they are at the point of testing on live blood samples and animal models.
The joint grant worth $50,000 from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in collaboration with Universities Australia, will fund the exchange of academics including early career researchers and junior scholars from both countries on this joint research project.
Over the next two years four researchers from Institute for Glycomics and six from Bremen University will visit on exchange to conduct experiments and share technology and skill sets.
The project will involve not only the development of novel drugs to treat non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma but will also look at the role of sialic acid plays in the regulation of immune system, tumour development and pathogen interactions such as viruses and parasites binding on cell services.
“Our research will help to understand how parasites evade the immune system and suggest new therapeutic strategies to combat this,” Dr Haselhorst said.
“We will be using state-of-the-art methods and glycotechnology available at both our laboratories to provide an excellent opportunity to open new avenue in disease control.”
Professor Kelm said the partnership allowed an unprecedented exchange of science between two institutions that will therefore compliment the knowledge-base of all scientists involved.
“It is important for young scientists, post-doctorates and PhD students to be involved in this type of exchange as it will have a huge impact on their research careers,” he said.
Institute for Glycomics Director Professor Mark von Itzstein said the Institute has had a successful relationship with Bremen University for more than 11 years and he was pleased this would continue.
“Our research teams are made up of the best scientists from across the world and collaborations such as this one allows us to continue our cutting-edge research initiatives to make exciting advances towards fighting diseases of global impact,” he said.