South Perth researcher wins grants to help beat breast cancer

Research associate Anabel Sorolla at the cancer laboratory in Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
Research associate Anabel Sorolla at the cancer laboratory in Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

A SOUTH Perth researcher’s work at Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Nedlands to stop deaths from one of the most challenging types of breast cancer has attracted two grants.

Harry Perkins Institute research associate Anabel Sorolla was awarded a $160,000 Raine Priming Grant and a $30,000 Healy Research Collaboration Award for her research on triple negative breast cancer last month.

Dr Sorolla said the grants would support part of her salary and laboratory consumables needed for the research, in addition to an international collaboration.

“The Raine Medical Research Foundation received 37 research applications and from these only seven got funded,” she said.

“The other grant that I have got is a collaboration grant which will allow me to establish a long-lasting collaboration with a prestigious scientist specialist in nano-particles from the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid.

“My future goal is to establish my own research laboratory and lead a team of researchers to make a change in the treatment of challenging cancers, such as triple negative breast cancers.”

Dr Sorolla said triple negative breast cancers made up about 15 to 20 per cent of all breast cancers but they did not have the three most common receptors found in other types of breast cancers.

“Patients are treated with very unspecific chemotherapy which also kills normal cells, bringing side-effects and complications,” she said.

“With my research, I am designing a more selective and more efficient treatment for these cancers using state of the art nano-particles.

“With them, I hope to eliminate the deaths provoked by these cancers.”