Ride Like Crazy Supports FCIC
Ride Like Crazy champions cancer research at Flinders
The FMC Foundation was very proud to once again be a beneficiary of Ride Like Crazy in 2013 and were delighted to accept a third cheque from the event for $80,000 for cancer research.
Funds donated to the FMC Foundation were used to purchase an Ultracnetrifuge system that will assist several research groups within the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. This will be the third piece of equipment for the Centre that the Ride Like Crazy event has helped purchase and will be another tool to assist FCIC researchers cancer prevention focus.
An ultracentrifuge is used for separating biological samples, particularly specific components of cells which are isolated for further study, and also for virus isolation/purification. The FCIC is focused on being able to enrich cancer cells from biological samples, and also for the isolation of modified virus particles that allow researchers to introduce specific pieces of genetic material into cells. Excitingly, one of the major uses will be to isolate microvesicles (called exosomes) from cells that are the basis of new cancer screening techniques that they are developing. They are hopeful that this will lead to a whole new range of cancer therapeutics in the future. The need for such an instrument has become paramount with the development of FCIC research in this particular area.
As with the IncuCYTE machine, which Ride Like Crazy previously funded, FCIC's leading researchers will make great use of the Ultracentrifuge. Ultracentrifugation is used for separating the different components of cells, so this instrument will be critical for many of the cell biology projects undertaken at the FCIC.
Dr Michael Michael’s work will focus on exploiting exosomes, and other microvesicles, to develop new cancer screening technologies. Along with another researcher, Prof. Jonathan Gleadle, Dr. Michael is investigating how tumours might use exosomes to signal neighbouring tissues and establish a fresh blood supply. They hope that by understanding this they might prevent the growth and spread of tumours.
Yet another exosome related project is being undertaken with Prof. Pam Sykes and Dr. Rebecca Ormsby in the FCIC, who are investigating how irradiated cells might use exosomes to signal to surrounding cells and affect nearby tissues. This may be key to understanding how tissues cope with large amounts of radiation, e.g. following radiotherapy, but also how they might establish a protective field following very low doses of radiation.
Several other groups will also use the ultracentrifuge to purify the antibody stocks that they use for their research. As viral delivery will likely be an important element in new gene-therapy treatments that are being developed for a variety of conditions, including cancer, FCIC researchers are excited that this ultracentrifuge will enable them to generate important reagents for their experiments.
Since the event began in 2009, Ride Like Crazy has contributed an amazing $650,000 to cancer research in the state including $240,000 to cancer research at Flinders.
Ride Like Crazy cheque presentation 2013