Riding For Ovarian Cancer Research
Simon Chu – Profile
My name is Simon Chu, much more a lab rat than a cyclist!!
I completed my PhD at Prince Henry’s Institute of Medical Research (now Hudson Institute of Medical Research), where I studied the role of the estrogen in the pathogenesis of an uncommon ovarian cancer known as granulosa cell tumours. This led to my interest in the impact of specific molecular signalling pathways that are responsible for these tumours arising, and looking for ways to target these as a form of cure. After gaining my PhD, I continued his work at Prince Henry’s examining the consequences of blocking some of these pathways using new therapeutic compounds in the hope that they might lead to a new chemotherapeutic approach to treating this disease. In 2007, I took up a postdoctoral position at the Pasteur Institute in Cambodia, where I helped develop a new molecular technique to investigate the incidence of exposure to avian influenza in the human population in that country, allowing me to develop skills in a completely different area of research, which I am using today in our research on granulosa cell tumours.
When I returned to Australia in 2009, I re-joined the Hudson Institute, and continued my work on finding the causes as well as therapeutic options for granulosa cell tumours. I established my own research group, Hormone Cancer Therapeutics in 2018 and focused on the two type of granulosa cell tumours – adult and juvenile.
The main theme of our research is as follows:
1) Development of a strategy which facilitates better service integration, resources and information sharing for those with GCT and their carers;
2) Performing genomic analysis of GCT to enable establishment of a precision medicine approach to tackle this disease;
3) Development of better diagnostic techniques, not only for initial diagnosis, but for continual monitoring for recurrence; and
4) Discovering better therapeutics through the repurposing of existing drugs.
I feel incredibly privileged and honoured that I can join this distinguished list of riders who are making a difference to girls/women who are survivors of this disease. The funds raised are much needed as rare cancers often are overlooked when it comes to larger funding bodies.
At home, I am wonderfully supported by my loving partner Vivien, with her sons Jeremy and Luther, and my children, Jono and Isabella. Being a relatively later starter when it comes to cycling, this ride is quite nerve wracking as my only sporting achievements in the past have been in rugby union. However, I have participated in a couple of Murry to Moyne Ride for Research relay events (512km over 2 days), which were a fantastic foray into team cycling. And so I am now madly getting into training for this event, one which I cannot wait to happen and ride with truly inspirational and amazing people wanting to make a difference!
I really would like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who is supporting our ride!