Latest breakthroughs in translational cancer research on show at CSTI 2023 Conference

Awardee Sherene Loi (fourth from left) with Prof Roger Daly (far left), Beate Lackmann (right of Sherene) and the Co-convenors.

A world-class gathering of leading researchers in cell signalling and cancer research took place in May at the highly anticipated Cell Signalling and its Therapeutic Implications (CSTI) Conference, held on the Mornington Peninsula. Co-convened by Dr Antonella Papa and Associate Professors Lan Nguyen and Lee Wong from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) Cancer Program, the event showcased the latest advancements poised to revolutionise the field.

Convened and co-sponsored by Monash BDI, CSTI 2023 is the fifth in the biennial CSTI conference series. The conference welcomed a stellar line-up of national and international speakers, reporting ground-breaking developments in a range of topics including cancer cell signalling, immunotherapies, precision oncology, systems biology, paediatric cancer and tumour evolution.

A highlight of the program was the six international speakers who presented transformative research results on various fronts, including lung cancer evolution and environmental factors (Professor Charles Swanton, Francis Crick Institute), new ways to modulate cell signalling for therapies (Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck, University College London), computational systems biology approaches (Professor Okada Mariko, Osaka University), mechanisms underpinning childhood brain cancers (Professors  Paolo Salomoni, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Ruth Palmer, Gothenburg University), and inflammation-driven liver cancer (Dr Ramanuj DasGupta, ASTAR, Singapore).

The conference also served as an important platform for Australian scientists joining from the Garvan Institute, Peter Mac, WEHI, SAHMRI, ONJCRI, MCRI, Telethon Kids Institute, and the Children's Cancer Institute to showcase their latest findings.

"Not only did we bring together the foremost experts in the field, but we also witnessed a true synergy of ideas and collaborations that will undoubtedly accelerate progress in cancer research," said the co-convenors in a joint statement. "The CSTI Conference has been a great success, and we are thrilled to have been part of this incredible event."

The event was made possible thanks to the generous support of key sponsors, the Melbourne Convention Bureau and Business Event Victoria, whose commitment to supporting events in Victoria played a pivotal role in the conference's success. Additionally, the Isabella & Marcus Foundation, a devoted philanthropic organisation spearheading research into paediatric brain cancer, stood as a longstanding partner of CSTI. Other sponsors included TrendBio, BMG Labtech, Genesearch eFreezer, NanoString, GeneWorks/Akoya, PARITY, FEBS Journal, and the Monash Partners Comprehensive Cancer Consortium.

In a poignant tribute, the prestigious Lackmann Award was presented by BDI Cancer Program Co-head Professor Roger Daly in honour of the late Professor Martin Lackmann. This accolade recognises excellence in translational research and was awarded to Professor Sherene Loi of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Sponsored by BioCurate, the 2023 Lackmann Award exemplifies the unwavering commitment to research translation in the fight against cancer.

Professor Daly said, “The line-up of local, national and international speakers was amazing! Testament to the strength of the institute’s cancer research, three BDI investigators, Associate Professor Meredith O’Keeffe, Dr Dustin Flanagan and Dr Sungyoung Shin were among the invited speakers, and many presentations featured collaborations with BDI scientists.”

Read more about the conference here.

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Committed to making the discoveries that will relieve the future burden of disease, the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally-renowned research teams. Spanning seven discovery programs across Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Development and Stem Cells, Infection, Immunity, Metabolism, Diabetes and Obesity, and Neuroscience, Monash BDI is one of the largest biomedical research institutes in Australia. Our researchers are supported by world-class technology and infrastructure, and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to enhance lives through discovery