Cure Cancer Australia / Can Too Foundation Grant to Dr Nassar

Congratulations Centre researcher, Dr Zeyad Nassar from the Prostate Cancer Research Group at SAHMRI on being awarded a research grant from Cure Cancer Australia through the 2018 Cancer Australia funding round. Zeyad was one of 21 early-career cancer researchers be funded in 2019, and one of 8 to be fully supported by the Can Too Foundation, Cure Cancer’s Principal Supporter.

Dr Zeyad Nassar was appointed as the 12th Freemasons Foundation Men’s Health Research Fellow in 2016. The Fellowship program supports talented young scientists who have completed their PhD with 2 years of salary and mentoring and training support provided by the FFCMH to help them set
up their career. Zeyad was appointed to the Prostate Cancer Research
Group at SAHMRI, led by Professor Lisa Butler, to bring expertise in pharmacology to the lipids in prostate cancer program funded by Movember and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. Zeyad has gone on to to be awarded a highly competitive Peter Doherty Biomedical Early Career Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2018.

Zeyad’s funded research is “Targeting polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism to overcome prostate cancer treatment resistance”. Cancer cells are characterised by uncontrolled cell proliferation, the ability to migrate and invade into other tissues, and resistance to drugs. This cell activity require the production of additional energy by the cell. Prostate cancer cells rely mainly on lipids as fuel to supply the increasing demands on energy. Blocking the cell machinery (enzymes) that the cells use to break down lipids into energy may be a new way to slow tumor growth and the spread of prostate cancer.  This research will go towards developing drugs that can target these lipid processing enzymes in prostate cancer.

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