Bridgestone grant to support search for a blood cancer cure

20 Feb 2015
Dr Keane receives the inaugural Bridgestone Australia Career Establishment Grant
Dr Keane receives the inaugural Bridgestone Australia Career Establishment Grant from Managing Director Andrew Moffatt

Bridgestone has presented its inaugural Career Establishment Grant to a Queensland researcher to help find a cure for blood cancer – a disease which strikes 31 Australians daily. 

The research grant was presented to Dr Colm Keane of The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute on February 17 at a special ceremony at the Translational Research Institute (TRI), Woolloongabba.

Bridgestone Australia Managing Director Andrew Moffatt praised Dr Keane’s dedication to finding a cure.

“We are very proud that the inaugural Bridgestone Career Establishment Grant has been awarded to Dr Keane and willenable him to carry out his nominated project,” Mr Moffatt said.

“Talented research scientists like Dr Keane have the potential to make a real difference to patients living with blood cancers, but they need support to do so.”

“We hope Dr Keane’s initial findings, which led him to this most recent research project, will come to fruition and lead to a cure.”

The grant was made possible through funds raised by Bridgestone as part of the Leukaemia Foundation’s Light the Night initiative, of which Bridgestone is Principal Partner.

Dr Keane said he was extremely grateful for Bridgestone’s support, which will allow him to explore the role of the immune system in lymphoma.

“I am very thankful to Bridgestone for funding my research project and honoured to be the inaugural recipient of the Bridgestone Career Establishment Grant,” Dr Keane said.

“My project will investigate how the immune system protects people from lymphoma and contributes to some people being cured of this disease."

“I want to confirm my initial exciting findings in a subtype of aggressive lymphoma and see if immune response is predictive in other lymphomas.”

Dr Keane aims to develop laboratory tests that will predict if a patient’s immune system is capable of eradicating their tumour with standard therapy. If not, he will postulate that a new type of cancer therapy – immune checkpoint therapy – will cure patients who fail the standard treatment.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Adrian Collins said the grant was an extension of Bridgestone’s longstanding partnership with the Leukaemia Foundation.

“Bridgestone Australia has been a passionate supporter of the Leukaemia Foundation for 29 years – providing Patient Transport Vehicles, assisting with patient accommodation and supporting the organisation’s various initiatives,” Mr Collins said.

“By sponsoring this grant, Bridgestone has opened up another opportunity for Australian researchers to pursue their passion and search for a cure for blood cancer.

“We sincerely thank everyone at Bridgestone Australia for their generous support of our work to reduce the impact of blood cancer on Australian families.”

The Career Establishment Grant is part of the Leukaemia Foundation’s National Research Program, which awards grants to Australian blood cancer researchers.

Dr Colm Keane explaining the future of lymphoma research.
Dr Colm Keane explaining the future of lymphoma research.

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Media: UQDI Communications Manager Kate Templeman 

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