Children's Medical Research Institute

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Children's Medical Research Institute
Motto Healthier kids, brighter futures
Established 1958
Research type Medical research
Field of research
Genetic research;
Cancer;
Epilepsy;
Birth defects
Director Professor Roger Reddel AO FAA
Address 214 Hawkesbury Road, Westmead NSW 2145
Location Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Campus Westmead
Nickname CMRI
Affiliations
Website cmri.org.au

The Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) is an Australian-based independent medical research institute that conducts research into the fundamental causes of disease. As of 2014, current research is focused on the causes of cancer, epilepsy and birth defects.[1] CMRI is the organiser of Australia's Jeans for Genes campaign.

The CMRI was founded in 1958 by paediatricians Sir Lorimer Dods, Dr John Fulton and Douglas Burrows, honorary treasurer and later president of the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children,[2] to "perform scientific research with a commitment to better treat, and where possible, prevent childhood illness and disability so that all concerned have a better quality of life".

In 2009, the CMRI joined with the University of Newcastle to establish a Chemical Proteomics Centre for Kinomics (CFK) - a new discipline in Australia. This centre, a world-first, was supported by a $3.1 million grant awarded in 2009 by the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.[3]

Research units[edit]

  • Cancer Research Unit
  • Cell Biology Unit
  • Cell Cycle Unit
  • Cell Signalling Unit
  • Embryology Unit
  • Gene Therapy Research Unit

Major achievements[edit]

In 1995 researcher and current director of CMRI, Roger Reddel and his team discovered ALT (Alternative lengthening of telomeres),[citation needed] a method by which approximately 15% of human cancer cells achieve ‘immortality’ and keep dividing. This work is being pursued with a focus on understanding ALT and developing potential anti-cancer treatments and diagnostic tools.

Other achievements include:[citation needed]

  • Found a single genetic defect can cause cleft lip and palate
  • Fate map of the early embryo to help us understand many developmental problems
  • Identification of the components of telomerase, which will be important for treating 85% of all cancers
  • Discovery of the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) mechanism, which will lead to treatments for the other 15% of cancers
  • Developing a blood test for ALT cancers that will allow physicians to diagnose and plan treatments for cancers such as aggressive glioblastoma brain tumours
  • Partnering with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead on a cure for genetic liver disease, with clinical trials about to begin
  • Discovering and developing a new class of drugs for treating epilepsy

In March 2007, Scott Cohen and his team made a significant discovery in telomerase research by establishing that the enzyme consists of two molecules each of telomerase reverse transcriptase, telomerase RNA, and dyskerin.[4]

Future[edit]

As of 2014 the future direction of CMRI is focused on the following:

  • Develop epilepsy treatments that will help children (and adults) around the world
  • Develop new treatments for kidney disease and diabetes
  • Gene therapy cures for rare genetic diseases in children
  • New treatments for infectious diseases
  • Telomere research to help understand predisposition to disease
  • Find new and better treatments for every type of cancer

References[edit]

  1. ^ "How We’re Different". Children's Medical Research Institute. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Yu, John. "Dods, Sir Lorimer Fenton (1900–1981)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography (The Australian National University). Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Chemical Proteomics Centre for Kinomics". Australian Cancer Research Foundation. 
  4. ^ Cohen, Scott B.; Graham, Mark E.; Lovrecz, George O.; Bache, Nicolai; Robinson, Phillip J.; Reddel, Roger R. (30 March 2007). "Protein Composition of Catalytically Active Human Telomerase from Immortal Cells" (ABSTRACT). Science 315 (5820): 1850–1853. doi:10.1126/science.1138596. PMID 17395830. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 

External links[edit]