Swapping lab coats for running shoes this Mother’s Day

May 2015

A group of sixteen researchers from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences will be hanging up the lab coats and putting on their running shoes for the 2015 Mother's Day Classic.

The annual fun run and walk raises much needed funds and awareness for breast cancer research, a topic that is close to the heart of Dr Erica Sloan and her team.

"The event resonates with our team as we are all working to find a cure for breast cancer. Our work is funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), and we know first-hand how vital this is," she said.

"Our research investigates how psychosocial factors such as stress to regulate the progression of breast cancer and our results show that chronic stress acts as a fertiliser to help cancer cells spread and colonise distant organs."

"This raises the intriguing possibility that drugs that block stress-response pathways - such as beta-blockers - may slow or reverse cancer progression."

Dr Adam Walker - an NBCF postdoctoral fellow - is one of the runners representing MIPS and said it was a no-brainer to join the team hitting the tarmac on Mother's Day.

"Breast cancer is a major health burden in this country, and with improvements in treatment for breast cancer we need to find solutions for the often debilitating side-effects experienced during and after treatment."

"We are now working with Peter Mac clinicians - who will be running with us on the day - to translate our findings to help patients with breast cancer."

"We still have a lot to learn but the support provided by NBCF makes that goal ever more likely and our job that little bit easier."

The team are aiming to raise $1,000 for the NBCF and welcome donations big and small to help reach that goal. If you can offer support, please visit the Sloan Lab Fundraising Page and to learn more about the research, visit their page at monash.edu/pharm.

The Mother's Day Classic is being held Sunday 10 May and will depart from Alexandra Gardens in Southbank from 6am.