Dr Kate Murphy receives VCA Research Fellowship for cancer research

The fellowship supports Dr Murphy to conduct research into muscle health with the potential to transform cancer patient outcomes.

Dr Kate Murphy, of the Department of Physiology and Centre for Muscle Research, has been awarded a Victorian Cancer Agency (VCA) Mid-Career Research Fellowship, one of 18 fellowships presented in the VCA’s latest funding round.

As part of a scheme that aims to recognise and support researchers undertaking high-quality translational cancer research, the award will support Dr Murphy’s research into enhancing the muscle health of cancer patients with the goal of improving prognoses.

Photo of Dr Kate Murphy in the laboratory

With many cancers, muscle health is closely linked with patient outcomes. Diminished muscle health is associated with reduced responses to cancer treatments, including chemotherapies. In such cases, cancers have a higher likelihood recurring and patient survival may be reduced.

To address this, Dr Murphy’s research aims to investigate the effects of cancer therapies on muscle health, in both the short and long terms. In doing so, she hopes to develop novel therapeutic strategies to support and enhance the muscle health of cancer patients throughout their treatment and in remission.

This research  is an extension of Dr Murphy’s previous work published in the February issue of Cancer Research on the mechanisms underlying the muscle wasting experienced by many cancer patients.

Front cover of 'Cancer Research', volume 79, number 4

Victorian Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced the VCA fellowship recipients on World Cancer Day – Tuesday 4 February. The funding scheme is part of a broader strategy by the Victorian state government to boost cancer research, improve outcomes and support researchers and clinicians at various stages in their careers.

Last June, Dr Murphy also became the first recipient of the MJ Gething Gender Equity Award, which supports researchers with caring responsibilities to maintain their career and research progression.

We would like to congratulate Dr Murphy on this excellent achievement and wish her all the best for her research.