Breast cancer trailblazer recognised

Breast cancer trailblazer recognised

Illuminate newsletter index page, June 2020
June 2020

Professor Jane Visvader (right) with Professor
Geoff Lindeman.

Professor Jane Visvader is one of only three Australians – and among 62 people worldwide – to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national science academy.

The prestigious fellowship recognises Professor Visvader’s significant contributions to breast cancer research spanning decades.

Her achievements have included identifying the stem cell that generates the entire breast, defining how normal breast growth is regulated, establishing cells that are predisposed to becoming cancerous and developing new approaches for pre-clinical testing of human breast cancer samples.

A team effort

Professor Visvader has jointly led the Institute’s breast cancer research program with Professor Geoff Lindeman since its establishment in 1998.

“I’d like to emphasise that my achievements have been shared with many people – in particular my long-standing scientific partner Professor Geoff Lindeman – as well as our many collaborators.”

The discoveries made by Professor Visvader and her team have underpinned the development of better ways to treat and prevent breast cancer, some of which are now in clinical trials.

Esteemed recognition

The UK’s national science academy includes a fellowship of 1700 fellows and foreign members, including around 75 Nobel Laureates.

Professor Visvader said she was honoured to join the oldest scientific academy in existence.

“The society has promoted excellence in science for more than 350 years, and I am very humbled to be elected to a fellowship that includes many scientific luminaries,” she said.

Funding vital to success

Professor Visvader also acknowledged the significant philanthropic support received throughout her career. “This has enabled me to focus on my research. Funding from the Australian and Victorian governments has also been instrumental.”

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