Flinders Medical Centre Foundation
Flinders Medical Centre Foundation


Investigator, Summer 2106

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 21:06

Find out how valuable support and donations are enabling Flinders Foundation to champion health initiatives that will change people's lives for the better, today and tomorrow.


The Investigator


Planting the seed for great discoveries

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 20:59

A group of researchers from Flinders University will share in more than $350,000 of seeding grants from Flinders Foundation to kick start medical breakthroughs in their fields.


The Foundation’s annual 2016 grants program will benefit 19 research projects with varying focuses including motor neurone disease, cardiac, cancer, mental health, nutrition, palliative care and pain management.


Cancer researcher and Chair of the Flinders Foundation Research Committee, Dr Michael Michael, said the funding round provided researchers with a solid start for what would hopefully prove to be great discoveries.


“Fundamentally the thing you need most is a good idea that you can develop,” Dr Michael said.


“The stuff that becomes earthshattering can often seem quite innocuous early on, and then the next thing you know…


“This funding will allow researchers to kick off their ideas by developing concepts and collecting some preliminary data and validation.”


A recipient of a seeding grant himself, Dr Michael will use the opportunity to understand how cancer cells expend energy, with the view to block this with combinations of drugs – including a compound commonly used in the treatment of diabetes.


Flinders Foundation Chief Executive Officer Amanda Shiell said seeding grants provided researchers with the opportunity to make an incredible difference in the long term.


“Flinders Foundation is investing in the research of today and offers seed funding to help researchers make the breakthroughs of tomorrow,” she said.


“Without this important seed funding some of these research projects would not take off and there would be many unknowns or ‘what could have beens’.”


Flinders Foundation recently received confirmation that the seed funding offered to researchers is having an impact all around the word, with some research projects being cited hundreds of times in North America, Europe and Asia and others cited in South America and Africa.


“The generous support of donors is making a global impact and Flinders Foundation will continue to make seed funding for research a priority,” Amanda said.


Cancer researcher and Chair of the Flinders Foundation Research Committee, Dr Michael Michael.


Flinders Foundation backs medical research revolution

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 20:57

Flinders Foundation recently donated $160,000 towards a game-changing piece of medical research equipment in the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. The stateof-the-art robot represents the changing face of medical research – and may one day lead to personalised treatments for cancer and other chronic disease.


Deep in the heart of Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC), in a pristine white laboratory, a quiet revolution is occurring.


From the outside, the machine looks much like the candy ‘claw’ from the Toy Story movie, but it is inside where the magic occurs.


As the robotic arm moves forward and back, smoothly and rhythmically, thousands of experiments are being conducted at a time – effectively changing the face of traditional laboratory research.


The ultimate aim? To find personalised ‘tailor made’ treatments for cancer and other chronic disease states.


According to Cell Screen SA (CeSSA) Laboratory Manager, Dr Amanda Aloia, the aim is not far-fetched and FCIC scientists are working towards it day-by-day.


“In a typical laboratory, scientists develop models of a human disease state to enable them to investigate how the disease might be treated and what causes the disease,” Dr Aloia said.


“For example, a cell may change shape as it becomes cancerous, or a neuron may make more of a particular protein when in a situation experienced as pain,” said Dr Aloia.


In a traditional laboratory setting, these questions can generally only be answered on a small scale as everything needs to be done by hand.


However, the new CeSSA facility enables researchers to do their experiments in very high numbers – up to 10,000s of different treatments concurrently, as robotics are used to set up and analyse the experiments.


This means experiments that used to take months, can now be done in weeks, or less – giving researchers

the potential to find solutions faster, and target solutions more effectively.


“One of the ultimate aims for CeSSA is to be involved in personalised medicine approaches, in which treatments are tested on individual patient samples in order to find the most effective treatment,” Dr Aloia said.


She said CeSSA is already involved in developing the techniques to do this for treatment and prevention of cancer.


“It’s a very exciting time to be involved in medical research,” Dr Aloia said.


“We are thrilled that Flinders Foundation shares our vision and is helping us work towards it.”


Your help is needed to further research in the CeSSA. Contact Flinders Foundation on (08) 8204 5216 for further information or to donate.

Cell Screen SA Laboratory Manager Dr Amanda Aloia


Claire’s coins for a cure

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 20:53

After starting out selling bookmarks from a stall in her driveway as a nine year old, Claire Armstrong has become a passionate fundraiser for Flinders Foundation.


Now 18, Claire is a regular volunteer for the Foundation and has raised thousands for cancer research through her various annual fundraising activities – including ‘Claire’s Coin the Cure’ where passers-by at local shopping centres place coins on her pink, yellow and blue ribbons.


Claire says she was prompted to start fundraising for cancer research after her mother had a breast cancer scare.


“Our family has been extremely lucky but other families haven’t,” she says.


“My mum and I signed up for a charity walk and I looked around and just couldn’t believe how many people were affected by cancer, and something just clicked in my mind.


“I do hope that a cure for cancer will be found one day – that would just be amazing.”


Claire is now encouraging others to come up with an idea or event to raise funds for Flinders Foundation.


To speak about your own fundraising idea or to get some suggestions, contact Flinders Foundation on (08) 8204 5216 or visit flindersfoundation.org.au

Claire Armstrong


Painting the town pink, yellow and blue

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 20:38

The who’s who of the South Australian community gathered for a night out in October, all in the name of cancer research.


Now in its 27th year and having contributed nearly $3 million to cancer research, the annual pinkyellowblueball has become the premier event of Adelaide’s charitable calendar - and once again it didn’t disappoint.


Set against a springtime backdrop, the soulful Kate Ceberano (pictured) had the 600-strong crowd mesmerised, while favourite Tim Campbell and his band returned to get the party started.


Flinders Foundation Patron Jane Doyle and pinkyellowblueball patron Lady Joan Hardy OAM shared research updates from the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer and encouraged the community to support researchers in their quest for medical breakthroughs.


As always the car lottery was a highlight of the evening, with Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) staff member Deborah Boylan taking home the Toyota Corolla – kindly donated by Toyota.


Deborah, who has worked at FMC for 10 years in medical administration, didn’t attend the pinkyellowblueball but purchased a car lottery ticket in the online presale.


“I like to support Flinders Foundation and have bought a few car lottery tickets over the years - I guess I was feeling lucky,” Deborah said.


The first she knew of the win was when she received a late night phone call live on stage by ball MC Mark ‘Soda’ Soderstrom. “I was in bed and I heard the phone ring, and at that hour you always assume it’s one of the kids calling,” she said.


“I picked up that it was Soda’s voice but it didn’t really sink in – I couldn’t sleep that night.”


Deborah couldn’t wait to get her hands on the Corolla, driving to her nearest Toyota dealer the next morning to take a closer look at the vehicle she’d just won.


“I already drive a Toyota, so I’m thrilled I have won the Corolla – it’s a really lovely car and a hatchback will fit my needs perfectly.”


Flinders Foundation CEO Amanda Shiell declared the 2016 pinkyellowblueball the best yet, and thanked the South Australian community for their support.


“I’m proud to announce that following the success of the 2016 pinkyellowblueball, $200,000 will be directed towards research at the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer via the Flinders Foundation 2016 Cancer Grant round,” Amanda said.


“I’m incredibly thankful to Flinders Foundation’s generous and loyal supporters for their outstanding support which enables this event to be a fundraising success year in, year out.”


Get in early and secure your table for the 2017 pinkyellowblueball on Saturday 28 October 2017.  Contact Flinders Foundation on (08) 8204 5216 or email info@flindersfoundation.org.au.


Kate Ceberano PYBB


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