Cure Cancer recently travelled south to Melbourne and hosted a lab tour at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre.


Last week, Cure Cancer travelled south to Melbourne and hosted an engaging lab tour at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. (ONJCRI). Established by Olivia Newton-John, the ONJ is a unique institute that focuses on cancer research, as well as personal wellbeing at its established Wellness Centre.

Guests were welcomed to the venue by Cure Cancer alumni Dr Lisa Mielke (funded in 2013, 2017 and 2018) and Associate Professor Hui Gan (funded in 2014 and 2015) before being brought inside the Centre for introductions, a discussion about the state of cancer research, and a private tour of the lab.

The presentations were led by Lisa and Hui, who talked about their fascinating roles as researchers and clinicians. They highlighted the collaborative nature of their work and the integral relationship between their two roles, explaining that progress and improved outcomes are only possible when researchers and clinicians work hand-in-hand.

The Q&A session provided attendees with an opportunity to raise issues that were of particular interest to them. A number of the guests had been personally affected or knew people who had experienced brain cancer, meaning much of the conversation centred around brain cancer treatment, and the difficulties of administering medication into the brain.

The afternoon continued with guests being invited ‘behind the laboratory doors’ for an intimate tour of the facility. Lisa led the tour and discussed her professional journey from being a researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research to Laboratory Head at the ONJ as a result of her Cure Cancer grant.

It’s a very exciting time in my career,” says Lisa. “This new opportunity will allow me to expand our work.”

In the laboratory, guests were able to witness a series of experiments demonstrated by Lisa’s colleagues, including peering at tumour samples up close on slides. Many found the experience both fascinating and overwhelming.

The session concluded with afternoon tea, and an additional opportunity for guests to chat and share their enthusiasm for the work we’re doing together.

A huge thank you to all those who attended. If you'd like to receive details about upcoming lab tours in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth please contact michelle@curecancer.com.au

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