A NEW centre at the Children's Medical Research Institute, Westmead could bring Australian scientists closer to discovering an effective treatment for cancer and other diseases.
The Australian Cancer Research Foundation Centre for Kinomics opened on Thursday.
Scientists will collaborate at the centre to better understand the human kinome— a subset of proteins that control most normal cell functions in the body.
Humans have 518 protein kinases. Errors in them contribute to at least 400 different diseases, including cancer, neurological conditions, cardiovascular diseases, and asthma.
The centre is a joint venture between the Children's Medical Research Institute and the University of Newcastle.
It received $3.1 million in funding from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.
Federal Health Minister Tania Plibersek said the centre was an Australian first and would put the country on the map for disease research and treatment development.
The centre is the brainchild of the institute's Professor Phil Robinson and Professor Adam McCluskey from the University of Newcastle, who have worked together for more than a decade.
"The centre will enable our scientific teams to better understand current cancer therapies and the reasons for their unwanted side effects, as well as to develop new drugs for a multitude of human diseases, many of which are currently without any effective treatment," Professor Robinson said.
"Our real hope is that we will come up with better drugs and better therapeutics for cancer patients."