Research Translation Award recognises innovative work in skin cancer prevention

25 May 2024

Health Translation Queensland congratulates all award winners from the inaugural Queensland Health Research Excellence Showcase, with special recognition going to Professor Kiarash Khosrotehrani, winner of the Research Translation Award.

Health Translation Queensland is honoured to have sponsored the Research Translation Award, which recognises research that is being translated into tangible benefits for patients and communities.

Professor Khosrotehrani is a dermatologist and clinical scientist interested in skin biology, regenerative medicine and skin cancer. The award recognises his innovative work in identifying key attributes of keratinocytes (cells in the outermost layers of the skin) undergoing transformation towards cancer in a laboratory setting and translating this work into a clinical trial.

Professor Khosrotehrani explained the clinical trial is testing the use of Sirolimus to reduce the onset of keratinocyte cancer by targeting the identified mechanisms.

“Sirolimus is an immunotherapy drug used in organ transplant patients as an anti-rejection medication and to prevent the onset of skin cancer,” Professor Khosrotehrani said.

“Organ transplant patients experience frequent skin cancers, creating a significant burden on their health and quality of life.

“In this trial, we are testing the use of a Sirolimus cream to see if we can reduce facial squamous cell carcinomas in organ transplant patients.

“This is a Phase III trial, which so far, we have recruited 47 patients for.

"The Showcase award recognises the contribution of the many people involved in progressing this research from basic science studies, the pilot trial, those who analysed it and designed the new trial."

“I’m hoping to use the award funding to organise a consumer day at an upcoming skin cancer conference,” Professor Khosrotehrani said.

Above: Queensland Health Director-General Michael Walsh and HTQ Executive Director Prof John Prins present the award to Prof Kiarash Khosrotehrani.

Held on 3 May 2024, the Queensland Health Research Excellence Showcase brought together more than 240 clinical researchers and executives from across the state to recognise Queensland’s contributions to innovation and research advancing clinical care.

Celebrating the theme of Partnerships and Translation, the Showcase included presentations on the crucial role that partnerships, research translation and commercialisation play in advancing medical research, workforce development and health care.

For more details about the Queensland Health Research Excellence Showcase, please visit their webpage.

For information about the SiroSkin trial, including how to participate, please visit the trial webpage.

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