From the CEO
Thank you, Geoff We thank Mr Geoff Dixon for the profound effect he has had on the lives of Australians through his support of Garvan. During his tenure as Chairman of the Garvan Research Foundation, Geoff has helped to inspire the generosity of the community. This has been an absolute necessity in supporting the work of the researchers at the Institute. “Garvan in its current form would simply not exist without the work of the Garvan Research Foundation, chaired by Mr Geoff Dixon,” says Dr John Schubert AO, Chairman of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. “We’ve benefited from, and are exceedingly grateful for, Geoff’s expertise and leadership.” Geoff says, “I’m a passionate supporter of medical research, which is why I first became involved nine years ago. The Foundation continues to be very fortunate in receiving the ongoing generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations from across Australia and around the world to maintain Garvan’s research. The impact of this support cannot be underestimated.” Geoff, we sincerely thank you, your wife Dawn and all of your family for your valuable contribution to Garvan over the years.
I hope that you and your loved ones have had a wonderful festive season. Each new year at Garvan is filled with excitement and the possibility of life-changing research. This research is realised through the
dedication of our scientists and the
Andrew Giles, Chief Executive Officer, Garvan Research Foundation
support of our donors. Not everyone can say
that they are part of the future of global healthcare, but as a supporter of Garvan and a reader of breakthrough , you are right alongside our researchers as they make exciting discoveries across all of our six divisions – Bone Biology, Cancer, Diabetes & Metabolism, Genomics & Epigenetics, Immunology and Neuroscience. Through the generosity of supporters, our researchers have had the funding to stay at the forefront of medical research. As they continue to produce outcomes that help to save lives, the reputation of the Institute has grown, which in turn attracts new researchers bringing fresh ideas and valuable insights from all over the world. Without the philanthropy of community members, none of this would be possible. In one of our feature stories, ‘Big Data’ (page 6), we go into detail about how researchers are able to harness all of this information in the scientific world to start to improve health outcomes. Big data is changing the landscape of medical research and Garvan is passionate about staying at the forefront by utilising this information and the newest technologies available from around the world. I hope that you will continue to be a part of this research. I am pleased to let you know that this year we will offer six public seminars. The seminars are a wonderful opportunity for you to come to Garvan and hear about the research taking place from our skilled and diverse team. If you can’t visit us, you are also able to view them online, with more details on the back page of this edition. Thank you for the important role you are playing as a supporter of Garvan. Our breakthroughs, which are leading to better treatments and cures, are a result of the many generous donors who understand the impact that giving now to medical research can have on all of our lives in the future.
Professor John Mattick and Associate Professor Antony Cooper with Mr Geoff Dixon at a World Parkinson’s Day event.
55 years of breakthroughs This February we celebrate 55 years of solving the mysteries of disease. From origins as a small diabetes research department of Sydney’s St Vincent’s Hospital, to having more than 500 researchers studying more than 50 diseases and the only clinically accredited whole genome sequencing facility outside North America, Garvan has been instrumental in numerous breakthroughs that have impacted human health. For example, in 1973 we developed an insulin infusion technique that has saved the lives of people in diabetic comas. In 1993 we discovered that proteins called cyclins are involved in breast cancer development. In 2012 we opened The Kinghorn Cancer Centre with St Vincent’s Hospital. Thanks to support from the community, we’ve gathered a team of researchers recognised as among the best in the world. As we celebrate this milestone, we recognise it is one of many, many more to come. Thank you for joining us on the journey.
The first laboratory at Garvan, 1964.
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