Detective work in cancer research

Professor Ross Hannan is a great detective of cancer research—finding and developing new cancer treatments for patients at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

‘I work with a large group of researchers and clinicians to develop new therapies focused on targeting a really fundamental process in the cell—called Ribosome biogenesis,’ Professor Hannan said.

‘Ribosomes synthesise all the proteins in the cell. Proteins are the bricks and mortar that all cells need.

‘If we could find drugs to target that process we might be able to kill the cancer cells.’

Now undergoing phase one clinical trials, Professor Hannan and his teams are using small molecules to block the production of cell proteins to kill cancer cells.

‘Cancer cells are far more susceptible if you disrupt that process than a normal cell,’ Professor Hannan explained.

‘Medical research is really like being a detective. The things you discover are new for the first time ever and that’s really cool.’

He shares his NHMRC funded research with us.