Congratulations to Dr Laura Genovesi

We have great pleasure in announcing the second recipient of the Ethan Davies Fellowship, Dr Laura Genovesi.

Dr Genovesi, from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience in Brisbane, is an expert in utilising network approaches to identify genes driving aggressive forms of medulloblastoma (MB), a form of paediatric brain cancer. She is working to try to understand how and why these networks of genes drive more aggressive disease in some children, and whether blocking these gene networks with existing drugs will be effective in treating patients with MB.

She has nine years of experience in the field and has recently successfully validated a novel targeted therapy for several subgroups of MB, with this data forming the basis of a Phase I clinical trial in paediatric patients with central nervous system tumours.

As an Ethan Davies Fellow, Dr Genovesi will be involved in evaluating the efficacy of these network-derived novel targeted therapies in combination with existing therapies. At present, combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy is firmly established as standard clinical practice for children diagnosed with MB, and therefore effective and realistic preclinical evaluation of any promising biological targeted therapy is required in the context of existing treatment practices. The Telethon Kids Institute's access to an X-RAD irradiation machine, allows for highly accurate, image-guided irradiation to animal models. Together with researchers from Telethon Kids, Ethan's Fellowship will allow Dr Genovesi to utilise this unique resource to complete the appropriate in vivo preclinical experiments key to translating these new drugs to the clinic, and to ultimately improve patient outcomes.

The fellowship will also establish a formal collaboration between the Telethon Kids Institute’s Brain Tumour Research Team and the laboratory for Cancer and Cell Signalling at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland.

Shannon Davies