Our Research

Our Research

Our research into asbestos-related diseases, specifically mesothelioma, originated in mid-1984.  Over the past three decades, our focus has spread from tumour immunology to include many other aspects of the biology of human disease.

Although the group started as the Tumour Immunology Group, the broadening of its research base and the strategic value of being recognised as a Centre of Excellence resulted in the formation of NCARD.

The group collaborates to perform human clinical trials of immunotherapies, most commonly in thoracic malignancies (mesothelioma and lung cancer). These trials generally run in collaboration with the Department of Medical Oncology and the Department of Respiratory Medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. The role of TIG/NCARD varies within each trial.

The NCARD research group is based within the University of Western Australia, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, QEII Unit, located on the 5th Floor, Harry Perkins Building, QQ Block, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, 6 Verdun Street, Nedlands, 6009, Perth, Western Australia.  In addition some members of the Group have clinical links within the Departments of Respiratory Medicine, Medical Oncology and Nuclear Medicine, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

Happy female researcher

Current Research Focus

Our current research focuses on four key areas:

  • Understanding asbestos-related cancer development, genetics and diagnosis – using our unique opportunities with the Asbestos Review Program biobank, NCARD biobank and Collaborative Cross-MexTAg mice.
  • Improving treatment approaches for mesothelioma and lung cancer – using our dual tumour model paired with novel computational biology approaches in the laboratory, and interrogating translational specimens from clinical trials.
  • Improving supportive care for patients with mesothelioma – leveraging our ongoing programs to study mesothelioma cachexia, exercise, and management of pleural fluid as well as engaging with consumers.
  • Using imaging to improve staging and predict response to treatment in mesothelioma – developing the use of novel tracers to image PD-L1 in situ over time, and continuing to play a leading role in the evidence-based staging of mesothelioma.

These research themes run from the laboratory to the clinic, and will provide information that will help improve early detection, diagnosis, staging, treatment, monitoring and supportive care.

Continued support for NCARD as an NHMRC centre for research excellence since 2006 is testament to the strength of our research program and expertise.

At NCARD we continually aim to foster a collegiate, high performance research environment where internal and external collaboration, training, and translation are an integral to our research goals.

Prospective Students

At NCARD we’re always looking to recruit outstanding students into our research programs. To express your interest in any of our research projects please contact the respective CI directly.

For international students, please first check your eligibility for study in Australia by contacting the University of Western Australia International Students Office before you enquire.

Collaborate with NCARD

NCARD researchers collaborate with many other scientists and clinicians.

If you’re interested in collaborating on a project please contact the respective CI. If you’re interested in working with us, view  our current list of vacant positions.