TCRN Conference Grant Recipient Benedict Ng

14 March 2017
TCRN Member Benedict Ng

Benedict Ng is in the third year of his PhD at UNSW supervised by Primary Supervisor Dr Jason Wong and co-supervisors Dr Luke Hesson and Dr Dominik Beck in the Bioinformatics and Integrative Genomics group. His PhD focuses on benign colorectal tumours, in an effort to detect and prevent early invasive changes. He uses genomic, transcriptional and epigenetic techniques to carry out his research.  

“Colorectal cancers (CRCs) arise from pre-invasive adenomas. Understanding how this malignant transformation occurs is extremely important” said Benedict.

“My work involves using computers to decipher the genetic code and mutation kinetics of colorectal pre-cancerous growths”.

He recently received funding from a TCRN Conference and Professional Development Grant to attend and present his PhD works at the 2017 Lorne Cancer Symposium in Lorne, Victoria.

“The reason I chose to go to Lorne was because it is the premier national conference on cancer, and attracts many of the top cancer researchers in Australia from all disciplines.”

“We are studying a special kind of flat colorectal adenoma that tends only to become invasive when it develops a large nodule. The poster that I presented showed that the nodular part of these adenomas had upregulated genes for cellular growth, and also upregulated cell cycle genes. Interestingly, this was accompanied by a greater mutation rate in the nodular part when compared to the flat part of the same adenoma.”

Benedict found the Lorne Cancer Symposium very interesting  especially a talk by Dr Adam Palmer, who is an Australian researcher studying at Harvard University. “His talk was extremely interesting because he used basic pharmacological concepts to analyse which anti-cancer drug regimes were or could be clinically effective. He was thus able to translate basic science into patient care outcomes.”

“I am a basic science researcher. The most important outcome for me was hearing the clinicians' side of the cancer story,” said Benedict.

“My research will translate into the prevention aspect of cancer care. My research and the research like mine by other scientists will one day be able to nip pre-cancerous lesions in the bud before they become malignant. That's a day worth working towards.”

The Lorne Cancer Symposium is an annual symposium that showcases new research developments and technologies in cancer, and as such is of interest to a wide range of cancer researchers.

Grant snapshot:

Conference: Lorne Cancer Conference 2017
Location: Lorne, VIC
Funding Round: Round 1, 2017