Open Learning

Explore educational content from VCCC Alliance lectures, symposia and conferences to be informed of the latest developments.


Implementation Science in Cancer

Monday 30 May 2022

Implementation Science in Cancer Launch

The VCCC Alliance and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre welcomed members from across the alliance to launch the Implementation Science in Cancer program, through fundamental knowledge sharing, resource expectation discussions, and exploration of project ideas.

The event aimed to share the Implementation Science in Cancer program’s overarching objectives, strategic alignment, and role of Associate Professor Stephanie Best, Senior Research Lead Implementation Science for both Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the VCCC Alliance.

The program defined implementation science and the underpinning theories, models, and frameworks to establish a shared understanding of how implementation science works in practice through case study exemplars, discussions about the role of Associate Professor Best and how expectations of incorporating implementation science in research projects may be managed and met.

Hosted by Professor Karin Thursky, Associate Director, Department of Health Services Research and Implementation Science, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Presenters and Panel Members Included:

Professor Jill Francis
Research Lead, Implementation Science in Cancer, Department of Health Services Research
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Dr Mark Buzza
Head of Research, VCCC Alliance

Associate Professor Stephanie Best
Senior Research Lead Implementation Science, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the VCCC Alliance

Lymphatic vasculature in disease: new insights from zebrafish genetics with Professor Ben Hogan

Monday 30 May 2022

Monday Lunch Live with Professor Ben Hogan.

Professor Ben Hogan uses model organism genetics in zebrafish to discover new molecular regulators of lymphangiogenesis. This has led to the discovery of new and unexpected mechanisms of human disease and potential new therapeutic targets.

Learn about his recent discoveries and the unexpected new finding that may offer ways to target diseases of excessive lymphangiogenesis, such as cancer, in the future.

Lymphangiogenesis is the formation of lymphatic vessels from pre-existing lymphatic vessels in a method believed to be like angiogenesis (blood vessel development). Lymphangiogenesis plays an important physiological role in homeostasis, metabolism and immunity.

Lymphatic vessels play key roles in the maintenance of tissue fluid homeostasis, trafficking of immune cells and the metastatic spread of cancer. The formation of lymphatic vessels in both development and disease is driven by the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor C (VEGFC), which signals through VEGF Receptor 3 (VEGFR3). The targeting of the VEGFC/VEGFR3 pathway is thought to offer much promise in the clinic, but has led to mixed results and variable outcomes for patients.

Professor Hogan discussed the recent discovery of a role for the RNA helicase Ddx21 in lymphangiogenesis. Ddx21 is a regulator of ribosomal RNA transcription and ribosome biogenesis and was discovered through genetic screening in zebrafish. His findings show that Ddx21 is regulated in response to VEGFC/VEGFR3 signalling in zebrafish and human cells. This may offer ways to target VEGFC/VEGFR3 signalling outcomes in diseases of excessive lymph-angiogenesis such as cancer metastasis or lymphatic malformation in the future.

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