New treatments to ease or even cure the most common cancer affecting Australian men are a step closer to reality with a $1.25 million grant awarded to QUT prostate cancer researcher Professor Colleen Nelson today.
Professor Nelson received the top Smart Futures Premier's Fellowship, worth $1.25 million over five years, which she said would be used to develop new, advanced treatments for prostate cancer.
"I couldn't be more honoured to have received this award," Professor Nelson said.
"I think it will be a good message to send across the state that we care about this disease.
"(The fellowship is) giving us the opportunity right here in Queensland to make the therapeutics for the men who suffer this disease.
"I look forward to the next five years of actually developing those new therapeutics."
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said Professor Nelson's work at QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation had the potential to save thousands of lives each year.
"Professor Nelson is regarded as a world leader in prostate cancer research and her work is helping us to treat and better understand the most common cancer contracted by Australian males," Ms Bligh said at the awards ceremony.
"One in nine men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime, and almost 3000 men die of prostate cancer every year.
"Professor Nelson's ground-breaking work is attempting to pinpoint more effective treatments for advanced prostate cancer and is exploring the disturbing links between diabetes and obesity in males and prostate cancer.
"This is very important work. It will not only have some very, very important outcomes for men here in Queensland but also for men around the world."
Professor Nelson is Director of the Australian-Canadian Prostate Cancer Research Alliance which has previously received $2 million in funding from the State Government and is supported by the Prostate Cancer Foundations of Australia and Canada.
"In March, Professor Nelson was also named as one of the Directors of the new Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Queensland which will be established in Brisbane with federal government funding," Ms Bligh said.
"The centre will Initially be based at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, but will move into the $300 million Translational Research Institute due to open in Brisbane in 2012."
Also at today's ceremony, a number of other QUT researchers were awarded.
Professor John Bell, from the Institute of Sustainable Resources and the Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, received a Level One Smart Futures Fellowship worth $300,000 over three years for his research into incorporating solar power into a new energy supply system for Queensland.
Dr Karla Ziri-Castro, from the School of Engineering Systems, received a Level Two Smart Futures Fellowship worth $150,000 over three years to develop an efficient and cost-effective high-speed wireless broadband communications platform for rural and regional Australia.
And Dr Marcus Foth, from the Faculty of Creative Industries, also received a Level Two Smart Futures Fellowship to investigate how best to motivate and encourage people to pursue a sustainable and environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
Media contact: Rachael Wilson, QUT media officer, 07 3138 1150 or email@example.com.
**High res image of Professor Colleen Nelson and Premier Anna Bligh available