Research

Cancer Focus funds new research post

Cancer Focus funds new research post

Dr Kienan Savage has been appointed as Cancer Focus Research Fellow

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland has invested £400,000 in cutting-edge breast cancer research by funding a new four year research fellowship at Queen’s.

Dr Kienan Savage has been appointed as Cancer Focus Research Fellow and will take up his post in November. The primary focus of his research is preventing breast cancer and he will be investigating how damaged genes can be repaired.

Dr Savage, from Brisbane, has recently identified a number of new cancer genes that appear to be involved in the development of breast and ovarian cancers and some forms of leukaemia. He said: "These cancers often arise due to damage to genes within our DNA, known as ‘gatekeeper genes’, which control how often cells divide, allowing cells to grow out of control forming a tumour.

“The new cancer genes which have been discovered appear to play a role in repairing damage to DNA and thereby aid the repair of damaged ‘gatekeeper genes’, helping to prevent cancer.

”My research will add significantly to our understanding of how these genes work to prevent the development of cancer. It may also lead to the development of new quick and effective tests to help decide which treatments specific cancer patients will benefit from, and may identify new proteins that could be targeted for future therapies.

”It is fantastic to get this opportunity to develop my own independent research which could potentially be hugely significant for cancer patients."

Roisin Foster, Cancer Focus Chief Executive, said, “Cancer Focus promotes and supports internationally competitive, high quality research into the causes, treatment and prevention of cancer. Each year we invest £300,000 - £400,000 on cancer research.  Many cancers previously thought to be incurable are now being treated successfully as a result of scientific research. It helps us to identify the causes of cancer and it is pointing the way to improved methods of diagnosis and treatment.”

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