Vancouver, BC – The Innovation Support Fund, established in 2010 by the BC Cancer Foundation and BC Cancer Agency, is enabling cancer researchers to accelerate research discoveries throughout the province with a $405,000 investment in equipment and technology needs.
The Innovation Support Fund provides province-wide funding for the purchase of new and enhanced equipment that may not otherwise be accessible through granting agencies. The goal is to help BC Cancer Agency scientists remain competitive, current and strategic.
“Equipment is essential to conducting successful cancer research. Our donors recognize this priority by supporting the purchase of state-of-the-art research equipment,” says Douglas Nelson, president and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation. “Through the Innovation Support Fund, our donors are creating opportunities for our researchers to explore new avenues of research and get higher quality results more quickly, that translates to improvements on detection and treatment of cancer,” he adds.
The 2013 applications were peer-reviewed by a committee of 14 clinicians and researchers, chaired by Dr. Keith Humphries, director of the BC Cancer Agency’s Terry Fox Laboratory. Applications were ranked and prioritized, and more than $405,000 was awarded to purchase state-of-the-art microscopes and imaging tools, liquid nitrogen freezers, lasers, scanners and other equipment vital to the Agency’s strategic research projects.
A BC Cancer Agency spokesperson says the funding enabled the purchase of specific instruments such as:
- A 3D printer and model processing software to create prototypes for innovative tumour detection tools, plan surgical approaches and assist with clinical training;
- A new fluorescence microscope will aid researchers at the Deeley Research Centre in Victoria as they study specific proteins within tumours, DNA damage and repair from radiation treatment and immune responses to cancer;
- A liquid chromatography system will enable researchers to separate chemical compounds in order to develop novel imaging probes to target breast, prostate and liver cancers, among others.