Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia (BCBA) is a virtual biobank hub established to provide researchers easy access to the amount, quality and type of tissue and associated data they need to accelerate both paediatric and adult translational brain cancer research.
BCBA Steering Committee member and neuropathologist, Dr Winny Varikatt, has been the driving force behind the establishment of brain cancer biobanking at Westmead. Dr Varikatt is the Senior Staff Specialist at Westmead’s Institute of Clinical Pathology & Medical Research. Her desire to become a neuropathologist and to do something to improve the treatment and outcomes of brain tumour sufferers was driven by a personal loss, and in her words, if you want to make a difference:
‘Tumour Banking is a good place to start. To make fresh tumour tissue available to researchers and one day be able to find targetable mutations that can improve the outcome of brain tumour sufferers.’
Dr Varikatt and her team recently received a $100,000 NSW Health Biospecimen Collection Grant - a major boost for this fledging brain cancer biobanking operation.
We are proud to have Winny Varikatt as part of our Consortium. BCBA was established and is run by a group of individuals who have a similar vision – collaborating to advance brain cancer research across Australia.
This month our consortium member profile includes our congratulations to Anna Nowak on her recent appointment as Pro Vice Chancellor Health and Medical Research, University of Western Australia. Anna is a leading oncologist, clinical trialist and translational researcher in the fields of neuro-oncology and mesothelioma. Named West Australian Cancer Researcher of the Year in 2018, she is also Director of the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases. As a custodian of a brain cancer biobank, Anna was involved in the first BCBA meeting. She is passionate about engaging in a consumer-led research agenda and working with the committed group of clinicians and researchers who make up the BCBA Consortium. In her words,
19th - 20th March 2021
BCBA’s fundraising arm, the Brain Cancer Collective, will now hold its annual 2 day 240km Bike Ride for Brain Cancer on 19th and 20th March in 2021. The riders will regroup for the boutique event that takes a scenic route from Sydney to the Hunter Valley and finishes with a long lunch in the beautiful grounds of Calais Estate Winery. We hope that you will support our efforts to advance brain cancer research by visiting our website and supporting a rider or making a donation.