Australia: New projects for Garvan-Weizmann

Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Three new joint projects involving eight researchers have been awarded seed-funding grants. Under the auspices of the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics, the projects will investigate the immune system in cancers that spread to bone and in rare immune diseases.

One, led by Prof. Ido Amit from Weizmann and Prof. Stuart Tangye from Garvan, seeks to identify new genes that are associated with LRBA deficiency, a rare genetic disorder that causes immune system deficiency including recurrent infections. Through single-cell sequencing, the team hopes to identify related genes, which may provide new leads for targeted therapy and may have application for autoimmune diseases and cancer. In a second project, Garvan’s Dr. Michelle McDonald and Weizmann’s Dr. Ziv Shulman will map the distribution and movement of plasma and cancer cells inside bones using 3D high-resolution microscopy techniques, with implications for blood cancers such as multiple myeloma, which can spread to bone and lay dormant until they re-enter the blood stream and cause a relapse. 
In a third project, four researchers will develop new approaches to analyze whole-genome sequence data from patients with primary immune deficiencies. This project also aims to elucidate how genetic variants and disease symptoms are associated, with the aim of helping better diagnose rare immune diseases and providing personalized treatments.