Dr Suresh Mathivanan
La Trobe University
Research Field: Cancer Biology
As part of Dr. Mathivanan’s research he is developing medical kits where small amounts of blood samples from individuals can be used to test whether a person has cancer, particularly colorectal cancer. It is the second most common cancer in Australia after lung cancer and the chances of developing colorectal cancer increases after the age 50 to nearly 9 out of 10 people. Most often, colorectal cancer is detected at an advanced stage when the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body lowering the patient cure rate.
The kits that Suresh is developing use protein signatures that are indicative of the disease condition. By discovering new ways for the early detection of colorectal cancer, the patient survival rates can be significantly improved and the human and financial burden can be reduced.
Suresh is part of the La Trobe University communications program which includes an outreach program run to educate Victorian secondary students on biomedical research. Suresh has given talks to year 9 students on cancer and early diagnosis. Additionally, he is involved in group discussions with students on the importance of early detection of cancer, current diagnostic techniques, chemotherapy and chemotherapeutic drug resistance. Suresh also takes part in the La Trobe Open Days where he demonstrates a few simple scientific experiments to create awareness among students and parents.