Have you ever wondered about the nature of viruses? What they are made of… how they operate….. and how they can do a takeover bid in our bodies and make us so ill? Did you know that viruses are implicated as a causative factor in the development of many cancers – not only cervical cancer? The bigger question begs; what can we do when a virus strikes and can we prevent a virus from causing cancer?
Fortunately for all of us Prof Ian Frazer began asking these questions at an early age. At about the age of nine, he remembers lining up with schoolmates for their polio vaccinations. He said in a recent Reader’s Digest issue: “The needle got my attention,” he says – which is where most kids are happy to leave it. “Then, I realized there were [crippled] kids around who had had polio. That got me interested in how the body fights infection … how the body repairs itself.” Thanks to his earlier scientific curiosity, HPV 16 – one of the leading causes of cancer of the cervix, is in process of being eradicated worldwide.
During this past week, a book about Professor Frazer’s personal story and his discoveries relating to viruses and cancer was launched in Brisbane. It is one of those books that is a must read – an important contribution to Australia medical science history!
Authored by Madonna King, the book titled: “IAN FRAZER….The Man who saved a Million Lives” is available in Australia from Dymocks, Target and many other bookstores. If you haven’t bought your Father’s Day gift yet – this one would a fantastic idea. (A percentage of proceeds from the book will be donated to the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation). Not available in e-book yet, the book is published by University of Queensland Press BUY ONLINE HERE
If you want to hear more about viruses and Professor Frazer’s work – Please do not miss listening to today’s special edition of Navigating the Cancer maze on Voice America’s Health and Wellness channel: http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/72540/navigating-the-cancer-maze-with-professor-ian-frazer
Professor Ian Frazer AC, FRS, FAACEO, 2006 Australian of the Year & Director of Research at the Translational Research Institute, Brisbane Australia; is one Australia’s most celebrated medical research scientists. Prof Frazer has received numerous national and international awards for his work in developing the technology that has enabled vaccines to help prevent cervical cancer. To link a virus to cancer in the 1980’s was contentious, but Ian Frazer persevered, convinced this needed further investigation. Now his successful research and development of a cervical cancer vaccine has sold worldwide under the brand names Gardasil and Cervarix. In May 2011, Prof Frazer was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. This achievement elevates him to the same status as world renowned scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Sir Isaac Newton. Today’s interview will probe in depth the connection between viruses and cancer and the function of immunity in viral destruction and management.
Short BIO – Professor Ian Frazer
Professor Frazer, a renal physician & clinical immunologist from Edinburgh, Scotland; came to Melbourne Australia in 1981 to pursue studies in viral immunology and autoimmunity at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of medical Research.
In 1985, he moved to Brisbane to assume a teaching post with the University of Queensland & was appointed Director of the Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research in 1991. He has taught immunology to undergraduate & graduate students at the University & has research interests in immune-regulation and immuno-therapeutic vaccines for HPV (Papilloma virus) associated cancers.
Now involved in revolutionary research, he is developing a vaccine/treatment for HSV-2 – the virus implicated in genital herpes.
He is a past President of the Cancer Council Australia, Chairman of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation’s Medical Research Advisory Committee & Chair of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Scientific Advisory Committee.
More on this topic and a review of the book IAN FRAZER….The Man who saved a Million Lives in my next blog at www.gracegawlermedia.com
Navigating the cancer Maze on Voice America Heath and Wellness Channel is presented each week by the Grace Gawler Institute in the interest of informing and educating the worldwide cancer community. www.gracegawlerinstitute.com
Listen to the interview at : http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/72540/navigating-the-cancer-maze-with-professor-ian-frazer