In 2015 The Ian Potter Foundation awarded a grant of $450,000 to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute to partially fund the purchase of a Vectra System.

This equipment allows researchers to visualise multiple cell types in a single tumour and therefore characterise normal and abnormal cells within a samples.  It has allowed us to comprehensively analyse a patient’s cancer and immune make-up to identify biomarkers of treatment response. This informs the selection of patients for clinical trials with immune therapeutics. This equipment has quickly become a highly sought after resource by our research teams and collaborators, which prompted a submission to the Ian Potter Foundation in support of the automation equipment to improve the sample processing time and allow a higher throughout put of use by researchers.

The purchase of the Vectra system in 2015 was also supported with funding from ONJCRI, La Trobe University, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Austin Health.

In September 2018 the ONJCRI, with co-funding support from La Trobe University, and support of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre – VCCC and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, was awarded a further grant to support the purchase of the automation equipment. 

Along with these supporting research institutes, the equipment will support all member institutes of the Victorian VCCC including the PDI, Austin health and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.  The addition of this vital equipment to the ONJCRI is an illustration of the collaborative work of researchers from Melbourne cancer research teams.

The grants, each lead by Dr Andreas Behren, Head of the Tumour Immunology Laboratory, together provide a platform of technology that is at the forefront of cancer patient sample analysis.  As a member of the VCCC, this equipment will enhance the VCCCs capacity to perform world‐class medical research and further strengthen and enhance cross‐institutional collaboration including academic‐industry and hospital‐academic cross‐collaborations.

The ONJCRI welcomes researchers wishing to use the equipment in their research. To find out more please contact Dr Andreas Behren: