Mater Research and Equity Trustees are pleased to announce that Dr Felicity Davis (pictured) has been named the inaugural recipient of the 
Equity Trustees Cancer Award as part of the Equity Trustees Medical Health Partnership Program. 

The award, valued at $360 000 over three years, will assist her team—Mater’s Breast Physiology and Cancer Group—to continue its research to identify new approaches for targeting difficult-to-treat breast cancers.

Announced in September 2017, the $946 000 Equity Trustees’ partnership with Mater Foundation will support a range of research projects at Mater Research in areas of cancer, diabetes and children’s diseases.

Dr Davis, who started her role at Mater Research in January 2018, said it was a great honour to receive the award which would support the team in taking a novel approach to breast cancer research.

“Our research takes the unique position that cancer should not be pigeonholed and studied as a separate biological entity, but instead considered as a ‘broken-normal’.

“Our research involves better understanding normal breast tissue and that of pregnant and breast feeding women, and how these changes in the breast may affect the development of cancer. 

“I’m incredibly grateful to receive this award so the group can carry out this very important research as both approaches—analysing healthy breast tissue as well as the changes seen in breast tumours—are required when looking at the whole picture of breast cancer.”

Mater Research Chief Executive Officer Professor John Prins said it was an exciting milestone to officially announce the recipient of the Equity Trustees Cancer Award and other Mater researchers who will also benefit from the partnership. 

“We are thrilled that Dr Davis and the Mater Breast Physiology and Cancer Group have received this significant award, which will assist them in taking a unique approach to better understand the onset of breast cancer.

“The partnership with Equity Trustees is a significant one, not only in the breast cancer research field, but across a number of research disciplines at Mater Research.

“We look forward to working with Equity Trustees over the next three years, showcasing the great work that is being carried out, thanks to their commitment to medical research at Mater.”

Dr Davis has authored 20 research articles and reviews including first and senior author manuscripts in Nature Communications, PNAS, Oncogene, Trends in Cell Biology and Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. 

She completed her PhD at the University of Queensland in 2012, before performing postdoctoral research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the United States of America and the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

As a pharmacist, Dr Davis is a State Representative for the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists.  

 Equity Trustees has directed the combined resources of 24 philanthropic trusts into a new Partnership Program which will inject more than $3 million over three years to three nominated charities, including Mater Foundation.

As part of the partnership, the following Mater Researchers have also received grants:

  • Associate Professor Luregn Schlapbach, Paediatric Critical Care Research Group
  • Dr Sumaira Hasnain, Immunopathology Research Group
  • Dr Katharine Irvine, Macrophage Biology Research Group
  • Dr Cameron Snell, Anatomical Pathology—Breast Cancer
  • Associate Professor Ingrid Winkler, Stems Cells and Cancer Research Group

Find out more about Equity Trustees five pillars granting program