The Director of the Genomics Research Centre (GRC) at Griffith University has inspired a Gold Coast business dynamo to design a show-stopping bra to raise funds for breast cancer research. After hearing about the work of GRC Associate Professor Lyn Griffiths and her dedicated team of researchers, the Managing Director of Fibre Light Systems Lionel Barden needed little encouragement to create a hi-tech bra for the novel national fundraising effort called Bra Art. Bra Art is the brainchild of QUOTA International of Gold Coast Inc, a women’s charity group which aims to raise at least $20,000 for breast cancer research around Australia by finding sponsors for its wearable works of art. “I saw this as an excellent opportunity to put our latest fibre optic technology to the test and at the same time promote what’s going on at the GRC,” Mr Barden said. GRC scientists are investigating the genes involved in breast cancer with a view to developing better diagnostics and treatments for the disease which affects approximately 1 in 11 Australian women. About 90 per cent of breast cancer sufferers have the sporadic form, which means the disorder does not necessarily run through families, although variations in genes are believed to play a part in predisposition. “Our recent studies have shown that variations within specific nuclear receptor genes are significantly associated with breast cancer. These genes are believed to play a role in susceptibility to the development of sporadic breast cancer,” Associate Professor Griffiths said. The GRC’s research recently attracted a grant from the Wesley Research Institute. “The Wesley Research Institute’s generosity will greatly assist our quest to identify how nuclear receptor genes play a role in breast cancer by looking at the levels of expression of these genes in different grades of breast cancer,” Associate Professor Griffiths said. While the GRC works to shed light on the disease, Bra Art will put breast cancer research in the spotlight from October to November when the exhibits are put on display for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Fibre Light Systems bra will be unveiled in the Main Studio on Level Three of Griffith University’s state-of-the-art Multimedia Building at the Gold Coast Campus on Tuesday, August 28, 2001 at 10am.

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