Media Release - 4/9/2014

Good things come in all shapes, sizes and forms.

Thursday, 04 September 2014

Working at the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute often reminds me of the thoughtfulness, compassion and generosity of individuals and the community. These daily reminders can appear in the form of a kind-hearted donor walking in off the street, or a good spirited group that hold their own fundraiser, especially for us. There are plenty of other avenues from which this bounteousness arrives, which perhaps aren’t quite as obvious or commonly known about. I would like to make you aware of one man who is contributing to our institute from about 13,000 km away.

Late in 2013 the histiocytic diseases team connected with world class researcher and Professor of Pathology, Peter F. Moore (BVSc., PhD, Dip. ACVP) from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology). Professor Moore’s pioneering work into the investigation and diagnosis of immune system disorders in dogs and cats is responsible for the development of diagnostic tests and treatment recommendations for dogs with lymphoma, leukaemia and histiocytic diseases.

Professor Moore generously took a detour from his already planned trip to Australia and payed a visit to our laboratory, giving a seminar on his research into canine histiocytoma. This disease is commonly encountered in dogs and comprises different types of immune cells, including histiocytes, one of particular interest to our group. It was an honour to host such a well-respected expert here at the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute; his visit was a great success. Professor Moore has since generously offered to share some of his personal reagents developed in his own laboratory, which aren’t commercially available. After many emails back and forward and a couple of FaceTime calls (well planned because of the time difference, of course), an application to import the goods, and the crossing of our fingers in the hope of these goods arriving happily, they arrived in excellent working order. From Professor Moore we received an immortal dog cancer cell line, or in other words, an endless supply of cells, which we can use to optimise all of our experiments before testing the precious samples. He also gave us an antibody, that is, a marker for an immune cell of interest that we will use on the flow cytometer. These kind gifts will enable us to really move forward with our research.

Back to the Ballarat and district community, all of the local vets we have spoken to have been welcoming of our research. Doctor Rob Page at Eureka Vets deserves special thanks for thinking of us when the opportunity arises to save a portion of tissue for our research. Good will and generosity sure does come in all shapes, sizes and forms.