One in three Australian men and one in four women are directly affected by cancer before the age of 75 - more than 100,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. While survival rates have increased significantly, cancer remains a leading cause of death: more than half of diagnosed cases are now successfully treated, but cancer still kills more than 36,000 Australians annually.

Cancer costs the health system billions of dollars per year, and its cost in terms of pain and suffering is inestimable. The only way to change these statistics is high-quality prevention, early detection and new treatments.

Fundamental medical research is building new knowledge that opens innovative paths to diagnosis and treatment.

Cancer is a complex and varied disease, which is why, at SVI, we approach it from multiple angles: 

  • Professor Louise Purton's Stem Cell Regulation group investigates stem cells and their role in cancers of the blood.
  • In the Cancer and RNA Biology Laboratory, Professor Carl Walkley's work is focused on understanding the regulation of RNA and how this is important in normal development and in cancer.
  • Associate Professor Elaine Sanij's DNA Damage & Cancer Therapy group investigates two areas of cancer research: the blood cancer multiple myeloma and ovarian cancer. 
  • Associate Professor Andrew Deans' Genome Stability Unit works to understand the mechanisms cells use to protect themselves from cancer-causing mutations.
  • Associate Professor Wayne Crismani's DNA Repair & Recombination group looks to translate basic knowledge of DNA repair pathways to treatments for cancer, bone marrow failure syndromes, and infertility.
  • Associate Professor Jörg Heierhorst’s Molecular Genetics group is working on understanding how the DNA damage that underlies most cancers develops. 
  • Researchers in SVI's O'Brien Department are focused on diseases of cancer survivorship.