Events | Melbourne Forum

Venue: To be confirmed closer to the date

20th June 2018 , 6:30pm - 8:00pm

$85.00 (inc. GST)

Bookings Close: 19th June 2018

Why are so many of my friends getting cancer?

Members Dinner with Professor Joe Trapani

20th June 2018

Why are so many of my friends getting cancer? After so many decades of cancer research, we finally have cancer on the run!

Whilst cancer is still the leading cause of illness in our community, the last 50 years have seen dramatic improvements in survival rates and new frontiers in treatment that offer more hope than ever. 

Joe Trapani is the Head of the Cancer Immunology Program at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Melbourne and until recently was the Executive Director Cancer Research (20092018). Joe’s research interests include the immunopathology of viral and auto-immune diseases, apoptosis induction by cytotoxic lymphocytes and cancer immunotherapy. He has authored > 310 research papers, reviews and book chapters on these topics. Joe Trapani is a member of the Executive (Board) and Chair of the Medical and Scientific Committee of the Cancer Council Victoria and of many peer-review bodies in academia and industry. 

Joe received his medical degree in 1977 and his PhD in 1985, from The University of Melbourne. He completed physician training (FRACP) in Rheumatology (1985) and received his PhD in the immunogenetics of HLA-associated disease, particularly B27-related arthropathy. Joe first became interested in how the immune system defends against viruses and cancer while working as a post-doctoral fellow at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, New York. Here, Professor Trapani discovered a number of the genes and proteins used by killer lymphocytes to eliminate virus-infected cells. He found that one protein (perforin) forms pores in the target cell and provides access for other proteins (granzymes) to enter and trigger cell death by causing apoptosis.  With his colleagues, Professor Trapani has also devised ways of harnessing the power of these killer lymphocytes and adapted their use to immunotherapy for various cancers. Joe’s team has further identified a rare group of children with inherited defects of perforin function and shown that they frequently develop leukaemia. 

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