Since its formation in May 2014 the Mark Hughes Foundation has funded the following initiatives:
Researchers: Dr Elizabeth Fradgley
At the recent HMRI awards night three of MHF’s generous supporters handed out research grants: Earlier this year Charlie Sutton donated an incredible $100,000 and these funds will support Dr Elizabeth Fradgley who will research a systemic screening and referral process for Glioma patients and their caregivers.
The Man Shake’s Adam and Belinda MacDougall awarded Dr. Kathryn Skelding $100,000 to look at newtreatment strategies for treating aggressive braincancers. The Manshake have been amazing supportersof MHF over a number of years donating in total $250,000.
And in a very special moment an award was presented in memory of Olivia Addison. The 21yr olds dying wish was to raise $50,000 for brain cancer research. Her family have worked so hard and that total is now $100,000! Thanks to this fundraising, Dr Amanda Hudson will be researching the ability to re-purpose old drugs as new treatments for brain cancer.
MHF have this year invested in Collaborative research hubs in pre-clinical and genomic research based at the Kolling Institute and Hunter Medical Research Institute.
These platforms will accelerate the progress of new therapies for brain cancer from the laboratory to clinical trials by providing researchers with easy access to research capabilities they do not have. This will have the flow-on effect of strengthening collaborative research in brain cancer in Australia.
MHF also look forward to opening an Australia wide funding round late this year focused on research, innovation and collaboration – ensuring that the great minds across the country work together to change and improve outcomes for patients through research.
In other exciting news the Australian Brain Cancer Mission are currently reviewing all applications for research grants in which MHF contributed 2.5 millionover 5 years. We look forward to announcing thesuccessful researchers in the New Year as well.
Researchers: Professor Rodney Scott, Dr Marjorie Walker
The Hunter Cancer Biobank (HCB), located at HMRI, was established in 2012 to meet the growing needs of local cancer research, and provides our local highly respected researchers with high quality tissues, free of charge, allowing them to conduct state of the art research into all types of cancer. The HCB collects a range of tumours from adult patients having cancer-related surgery in the Hunter New England region. Only excess tissue (that is not required for a patient’s diagnosis and treatment) is stored in the HCB; this tissue would otherwise be discarded. The HCB currently has over 3300 tumour samples.
Thanks to the establishment of the Mark Hughes Foundation now banks cancer and blood samples from every consenting patient and has built a comprehensive brain cancer Biobank.
This project most importantly assists patients and their families with support through diagnosis, treatment, access to clinical trials, follow-up on discharge and end of life care. Jane Morrison was initially seconded to this role while recruitment took place.
This role is currently filled by Alisha Gooley as Sandy Nixon is on maternity leave.
Researchers: Dr. Kelly McKelvey (SNOG)
Sydney neuroscientist Dr Kelly McKelvey will study and optimise clinical treatment options for brain cancer patients.
Her three-year funding support came via the NRL’s Round 11 Beanie for Brain Cancer initiative in partnership with the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF). It was presented at the recent Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Awards Night by Anne Callander and eldest daughter Madison.
Dr McKelvey is an immunology specialist with a background in neuroanatomy and pharmacology, enabling her to analyse the brain microenvironment in depth. Along with colleagues from the Sydney Neuro-Oncology Group and in collaboration with Hunter cancer researchers, she is specifically focused on high-grade brain cancers – including glioblastoma, which tragically claimed Matt’s life.