14 March 2016
A 2007 University of the Sunshine Coast Science graduate who has just completed three years of tissue engineering research work in Germany has won a Cure Cancer Australia grant to develop a 3D model for laboratory analyses of prostate cancer.
Dr Laura Bray (nee Sinfield), who grew up at Bray Park and was just 18 when she completed her USC Bachelor of Science, is continuing her research at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.
Dr Bray had gained her PhD from QUT and worked at the Queensland Eye Institute before winning a major award in 2012 to travel to Germany’s Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research. The $118,000 Prime Minister’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award was awarded to her in the same year she was named USC Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.
Now 27, Dr Bray is one of 17 early career researchers across the country to be supported by Cure Cancer Australia in 2016, made possible by principal supporter Can Too, a health promotion foundation.
She will receive funding for her project, “Dissecting the molecular and cellular mechanisms of angiogenesis and bone metastasis in a bioengineered microenvironment model of prostate cancer”.
“To receive my first project grant funding is the highlight of my career so far,” she said.
“It gives me a foundation to start my own research team and a platform to foster the collaborations I have made in Australia and Germany to continue this meaningful and high-impact research to benefit prostate cancer patients.”
The project aims to use advances in 3D modelling in laboratory research to identify the components of prostate cancer development.
“We want a better understanding of how the microenvironment signals and initiates tumour formation, vascularisation and metastasis,” she said.
Dr Bray also recently travelled to the Lush Prizes ceremony in London to receive a Young Researcher award for her work in supporting animal-free testing.
— Julie Schomberg