The OCRF has funded its first-ever research project outside of its annual grant round.
Thanks to an outstanding fundraising effort in the second half of 2019, the OCRF has been able to fund a new research project called 'Chip-Based Blood Test'. This project was awarded in December 2019 and commenced in January 2020. The funding was in addition to the OCRF 2019 Grants Round.
Associate Professor Yong Li and Dr Ying Zhu are leading the initiative from UNSW Sydney.
Dr Ying Zhu
The project aims to develop an early detection test that women could either receive at their medical clinic or complete at home, made possible by a combination of new nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.
Importantly, it addresses a common concern in ovarian cancer research—finding reliable ‘biomarkers’ or indicators of disease—in a new and promising way.
All of the OCRF’s early detection research hinges on examining biomarkers—biological indicators of disease. These can come in the form of proteins (like CA-125), DNA-based biomarkers, or exosomes. The Chip-Based Blood Test explores exosomes in a completely new way, making it a promising and fertile area of research.
Associate Professor Yong Li
Researchers have developed a small and highly sensitive chip that can detect exosomes, which are tiny fragments released by cancer cells.
A multi-disciplinary team will then work together to determine presence and severity of ovarian cancer cells before using a new artificial intelligence computer system to quickly and precisely process the data for the test result.
“We hope to develop this test to the point it can be used in a screening program to benefit larger populations, reduce the burden of cancer and prevent deaths,” said Dr Zhu.
This three-year project will cost approximately $140,000 with the first year's funding made possible by the OCRF community.
The Power of Community Fundraising
This new grant would not have been possible without the incredible Silver Lining Riders, support crew and our generous partners Bendigo Bank and Skip.
It is a huge commitment to take part in a multi-day ride which is both physically demanding and mentally challenging, let alone doing so in high heat conditions. The way the community responded to the riders visiting their towns, sharing stories of family members affected and what it meant to see a group of people doing something so incredible for the cause was very touching and inspired them along their journey.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this community-driven, community-funded grant a reality.
Silver Lining Riders and support crew celebrate crossing
the finish line at the MCG
Just like the Silver Lining Riders, you can take action to support this life-changing research.