Centenary’s discoveries lead to a commercial agreement to create drugs to fix leaking blood vessels.
Australian molecular biologists led by researchers at Centenary have made a synthetic compound that appears to allow them to control the leakiness of blood vessels. The work could lead to effective new drug treatments for strokes and tumours. Spinoffs may include an ability to reduce the side-effects of chemotherapy and inflammation.
Following the prick of a rose thorn, a paper cut, or an infection our bodies start to fight back. And the defence begins with inflammation. That inflamed, tender, red patch we all know as the hallmark of a wound or infection is the result of certain white blood cells summoning the troops and increasing the blood supply to deal with a wound or invasion.
Professor Wolfgang Weninger, head of Centenary’s Immune Imaging program, who leads our work in research, says “understanding inflammation is becoming an important topic across Centenary, helping us understand cardiovascular disease, organ rejection and auto-immune diseases, for example. Another important issue is ageing. Our immune system response changes with age. It’s part of the process of ageing, where the body becomes less and less capable of coping with destructive events.”