From Brisbane to Washington: former Mater researcher returns to share advances in cancer research

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Former Mater Research PhD graduate Dr Cameron Turtle, now a leading hematology oncologist and bone marrow transplant specialist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington; returned to Mater Research where he shared his latest research in cancer immunotherapy with Mater researchers, clinicians and health professionals.

Dr Turtle was one of the first PhD graduates from Mater Research, having graduated from The University of Queensland with his PhD on Dendritic Cells in 2005.

“I chose to focus my research on cancer immunology because the apparent role of the immune system in controlling cancer suggested that manipulation of anti-tumor immune response could provide better treatments,” Dr Turtle explains.

“My time at Mater Research under Professor Derek Hart allowed me to gain an in-depth insight into human immunobiology from which other research could be launched.”

Dr Turtle is currently investigating ways to harness the body’s own immune system T cells to fight cancer. His research focuses on strategies to genetically modify T cells to allow them to kill hematologic malignancies and to improve immune reconstitution after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

“T cells are one of the keys to our ability to develop immunity from viral infections — and someday could free cancer patients from their disease”, Dr Turtle says.