Queen's researchers benefit from moustache fundraiser
By Rosie Hales, Communications Officer
A national cancer research collaboration that includes two members from Queen’s has been awarded the $5 million 2014 Movember Team Grant from Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC).
David Berman and Paul Park, both from the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, will receive funding as part of the Prostate Cancer Program Project in Rapid Development of Novel Diagnostic Markers for Early Prostate Cancer (PRONTO). PCC identified the research team as poised to make the greatest impact in prostate cancer research.
The grant is awarded by PCC and funded by the Movember Foundation, a global charity that relies on the fundraising efforts of men collecting pledges as they grow moustaches every November.
PRONTO aims to determine the type of treatment needed when men are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“Being a part of the PRONTO team provides me with a rare opportunity to participate in a large scale biomarker development project from discovery to clinical validation,” says Dr. Park. “The interactions fostered within this multi-institution, trans-disciplinary team will have a big impact in establishing my research career in this field. The funds provided by this grant will be used to support a post-doctoral trainee in my lab, and also to help establish one of the core components of this project here on Queen’s campus.”
Fewer than half of diagnosed prostate cancers are harmful and men newly diagnosed with the disease face an array of options and possible side effects.
“If we could better separate harmful and harmless prostate cancers, we could help patients and their doctors make clearer choices. With funding from Movember and Prostate Cancer Canada our team will develop new and better tests for this purpose,” says Dr. Berman. “For members of my laboratory and me, this is an unprecedented opportunity to work with experts in a variety of critically important areas to do something important for patients. We are extremely grateful to Movember, Prostate Cancer Canada, and all of the donors and volunteers who have made this work possible.”
The team is led by John Bartlett of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the research team is made up of 14 researchers from across Canada.