A new research laboratory is the first of its kind in Australia to be integrated within a comprehensive cancer hospital, accelerating patient access to new and individualised cancer treatments. The Arto Hardy Family Biomedical Innovation Hub at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse has been opened by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of NSW.
At the helm of the new lab is the Arto Hardy Family Chair in Biomedical Innovation, Professor Jeremy Crook of the University of Sydney and co-appointed with the University of Wollongong.
The facility allows for research and patient care to happen simultaneously, enabling clinicians to collaborate with scientists and biomedical engineers to reimagine conventional cancer therapeutics.
One project involves 3D-printing replicas of a patient’s tumour and housing it within a microscopic brain organoid to test the efficacy of drugs and therapies without any negative effect on the patient. Another involves producing bio-compatible prosthetics to improve the quality of life for patients after reconstructive surgery.
“This will transform cancer care in Australia. We will have more effective ways of treating cancer because we will know which treatments will help an individual patient,” said Professor Lisa Horvath, Director of Research at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
“It’s really exciting because we are creating a shortcut of implementing research from the bench to a patient’s bedside,” she said.
Professor Jeremy Crook said, “The Arto Hardy Family Biomedical Innovation Hub is at the nexus of a strategic partnership between Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, The University of Sydney, and University of Wollongong. We are leveraging our resources and capabilities to apply the right technology to the right process at the right time with the right people.”
“This collaboration is key to undertaking and sustaining transformative point-of-care health and medical research and to fast-tracking innovative treatment options for patients.”
The facility was made possible by a generous donation by the Arto Hardy Family whose family member was a patient at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
The Arto Hardy Family Biomedical Innovation Hub is at the nexus of a strategic partnership between Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, The University of Sydney, and University of Wollongong. We are leveraging our resources and capabilities to apply the right technology to the right process at the right time with the right people.
“What a gift to be able to give. It is a privilege to accelerate a more hopeful future for people facing cancer,” said Lina Arto Hardy. The commercialisation of discoveries is also a key focus of the laboratory so that the impact of innovation may go beyond the walls of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse
Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Sydney, Professor Mark Scott AO, said, “We are very proud to be part of the Arto Hardy Family Biomedical Innovation Hub which promises major improvements in cancer treatment.”
“Its multidisciplinary, integrated and onsite approach marks exciting progress in using this model of medical care in Australia. I congratulate Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and look forward to the opportunities and collaborations this could foster with the neighbouring Sydney Biomedical Accelerator.”
Professor Patricia Davidson, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Wollongong said, “Congratulations to Professor Jeremy Crook and the teams at the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, the University of Sydney and the University of Wollongong on this exciting announcement. The work they are doing will make a real difference to people living with cancer and their families and shows what can be achieved through collaboration. By maintaining a co-appointment at both universities Professor Crook can draw on the expertise and resources of each to fast-track research discoveries into new treatments for cancer.”