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A young star in childhood cancer research

Petra Bachmann was recently announced this years Open Senior Division winner in the highly respected Coast Association Tow Research Awards.

Ms Bachmann was one of five participants in the Open Senior Division of the awards, competing against clinicians and researchers from the Prince of Wales Hospital and colleagues at UNSW.

Now in the final year of her studies, UNSW PhD student Ms Bachmann presented the results of her research on childhood cancer, undertaken in the Leukaemia Biology Program at Childrens Cancer Institute Australia for Medical Research.

Ms Bachmanns research centred on glucocorticoids, which play a central role in the treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Some tumours develop resistance against the drug and the reasons behind this remain poorly understood.

Ms Bachmanns research has led to the identification of a gene involved in cell death which can be modified by molecular biology techniques to circumvent glucocorticoid resistance in childhood ALL. This has implications for a novel therapeutic strategy in this cancer.

The Tow Awards were initiated in the 1970s by Dr Wally Tow, to foster collaborations between clinical investigators and research scientists located at the many research institutes and hospitals around the Randwick campus. This year marks a special 35th anniversary of the Coast Association Tow Research Awards, bringing back Dr Tow from Singapore to open the meeting.

Every year we are impressed with the very high quality of presentations at these meetings, said Associate Professor Richard Lock, Meeting Convenor.

The Awards are an excellent arena for young researchers and clinicians to showcase their exceptional work. We are delighted Dr Tow could join us this year to witness for himself the significant contribution he has made in fostering such talent, commitment and potential, said A/Professor Lock.


Contact: Pearly Harumal
Research Australia

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