National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases

WA home to national asbestos diseases research centre

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National Asbestos Diseases Research Centre
[L to R]: The Honourable Tony Abbott MHR, Professor Peter Klinken, Ms Ellen Barns, Professor Bruce Robinson & Professor Alan Robson

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Carolyn Monaghan, Communications Manager, telephone (+61 0) 448 021 932 or NCARD on (+61 8) 6151 0721.

WA scientists say a new Perth-based national research centre into asbestos-related diseases boosts the potential for crucial advances in the screening and treatment of people at risk of cancers such as mesothelioma.

20 November, 2006 - Media statement

Opened today during National Asbestos Week by the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott, the National Research Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases will be hosted by The University of Western Australia (UWA) and will be based at the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR), WA's premier adult medical research institute.

The Commonwealth Government has committed $6.2 million through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), funding 11 research projects over three years, while UWA has injected $900,000 into the Centre over three years.

UWA Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Robson, said he was very pleased the Commonwealth Government had recognised the significant research quality at UWA, and believed the establishment of the Centre was a big step forward for research into diseases linked to asbestos.

"The devastation caused by asbestos-related diseases is already significant, and is on the rise, due to the long delay between asbestos exposure and diagnosis of conditions such as malignant mesothelioma, so the formation of this Centre is critical in helping to fast-track research that could lead to breakthroughs to treat these disorders," he said.

"UWA's financial contribution to aid in the establishment of the National Research Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases is in recognition of the importance of developing medical research and contributing to the health of all Australians."

Professor Bruce Robinson, who has spearheaded the effort to establish the Centre and is one of the world's leading researchers into asbestos-related cancers, said the Centre represented a strong collaborative team of researchers from around Australia, ideally placed to give new hope to mesothelioma patients.

"The team will build on recent important discoveries, such as new blood tests and treatments for mesothelioma, and will apply the latest technologies to better understand how to attack these diseases," he said.

WAIMR Director Professor Peter Klinken said the Centre provided exciting opportunities to create a world-leading resource. "This research initiative will no doubt help us to further uncover the environmental and genetic causes of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related disorders," he said.

"Just one of the questions we'd be hoping to answer is why some mesothelioma patients respond well to therapy and others do not - so the potential for this Centre is enormous," said Professor Robinson.


National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases

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Last updated:
Wednesday, 18 November, 2015 2:57 PM