Centenary

The Centenary Institute is an independent leader in medical research seeking improved treatments and cures for cancer, cardiovascular and infectious diseases.

They are working to discover new prevention, early diagnosis and treatment options to enable each generation to live longer, healthier lives than the one before. Centenary’s affiliation with the RPA Hospital and the University of Sydney means that their discoveries can be quickly applied to the fight against disease in the clinic.

More at: http://www.centenary.org.au and http://www.centenarynews.org.au

Defences mapped in time and space

Researcher available for interview Wednesday 6 August 2014Centenary Logo

Researchers at the Centenary Institute in Sydney have developed the first 3D model of the distribution of immune cells in living mammalian skin.

“It takes us from something like a paper map to Google Street View,” says the study’s lead author Dr Philip Tong.

“We knew all of these cells were there, but not how many of them and where.  Now we can dive right in and we see that some types of immune cells are evenly distributed, while others clump in strategic locations.”

The resulting ‘Atlas’, recently posted online by the highly ranked Journal of Investigative Dermatology,  provides the basis for understanding an immune response at a particular site of the skin. It helps explain how the same challenge—for example, injecting the same vaccine or drug—to different areas of the skin can generate a different immune response.

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And how the liver’s troops might be revivedCentenary Logo

Tuesday 17 June 2014

The liver is the only organ in the body that can modify our immune response. This, paradoxically, leaves it open to violent immune attack.

Researchers at Sydney’s Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney have now discovered the means by which this happens. In the process they may have opened a pathway towards improving treatment of chronic hepatitis.

The key is in the way the immune system’s T cells operate in the liver.

The researchers found that when the liver T cells encounter a small number of cells making a foreign protein, they function in the normal way—stimulating the production of cells to kill off the source of the protein.

But when they encounter large amounts of foreign protein beyond a certain threshold, the T cells are overwhelmed and fail. This weakening of the defence system is the Achilles heel of the liver, making it more susceptible to invasion by viruses that replicate rapidly and produce large amounts of protein.

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The holy grail of healthy old age may lie in the riddle of cells that stop Centenary Logocancer and hasten age at the same time.

Professor Judith Campisi, the head of research labs at San Francisco’s Buck Institute for Research on Ageing and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, will present this research at the Inflammation in Disease and Ageing conference at Manly, organised by the Centenary Institute.

She has found that senescent cells, which stop cancer in its tracks, also promote the inflammation that drives many age-related problems and chronic diseases.

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Centenary LogoWe’re living longer. That means that we’re all at greater risk of cancer and we’ll all suffer from bone loss. And for many of us, our final
years will be difficult.

Josef Penninger plans to change all that. His vision is of a future where we can safely surf and live active lives at 85 years of age without fear of fracture, cancer or any of the other scourges of ageing.

He’s director of Austria’s Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, and is in Australia as a guest of the Centenary Institute in Sydney to share his vision for a healthy old age, and discuss the research that’s getting us there.

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Wednesday 19 February 2014

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Could we treat melanoma by cutting off its food source?

The latest research from Sydney’s Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney suggests we could.

Last year the researchers showed they could starve prostate cancer. Now a further discovery opens up the prospect of a new class of drugs that could work across a range of cancers including melanoma.

Australia has the highest rate of melanoma in the world. It is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and third most common cancer in Australia.

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The art of science: a network of nerve cells and a neural sunrise, captured under the microscope

Neural spiderwebs – unlocking the secrets of low level laser irradiation for pain therapy

This stunning image shows a network of the nerve cells which carry sensory information from the world to your spinal cord and brain.

MLovelace NHMRC Science to Art

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A ringside seat in the war against infection

Images and video available

staph_3

Depletion of macrophages (green cells) after injection of golden staph (orange-red material) into the skin. Credit: Centenary Institute/Nature Immunology

When golden staph enters our skin it can identify the key immune cells and ‘nuke’ our body’s immune response.

Now we know how, thanks to an international research group led by dermatologists from the Centenary Institute and the University of Sydney.

Using state-of-the art microscopy techniques, the team identified the key immune cells that orchestrate the body’s defenders against invading golden staph, and also how the bacteria can target and destroy these cells, circumventing the body’s immune response.

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