Garvan Breakthrough magazine - Aug 2018


The Garvan-Weizmann partnership is bringing exceptional opportunities to the current and next generations of scientists.

Imagine you’ve just graduated from high school with a keen interest in research and have started your undergraduate degree. Now imagine you have the opportunity to work with a team of like-minded scientists to create a new drug to help the body identify tumours sooner. This is the reality for Milan Leonard and Dominic Agius, two first-year university students who’ve just spent a month at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Milan attended as the inaugural Garvan-Weizmann Young Scholar, enabled by a generous philanthropic gift. The prestigious International Summer Science Institute sees undergrads from around the world work on research projects under the supervision of Weizmann Institute scientists. It’s just one of the many ways our partnership with the Weizmann Institute is creating opportunities for both student and staff exchange programs and cross-pollination of ideas and research.

At the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics, many of our researchers work with counterparts in Israel to explore discoveries in single cell sequencing. For example, Weng Hua Khoo, a PhD student in the Bone Biology Division, works closely with Dr Guy Ledergor and Dr Assaf Weiner at Weizmann. “We are identifying the single cell transcriptome of dormant cells residing in the bone from patients with myeloma,” Weng Hua explains. This approach to understanding how cancer hides in bone could have far-reaching outcomes for all recurring cancers. Why is this important? Because sharing expertise, exchanging ideas and developing new technological applications will accelerate the process of biomedical discovery. The Garvan‑Weizmann collaboration not only supports our greatest assets – our researchers – it will also develop our next generation. As Milan describes, we’re well on the way: “I delight in exchanging ideas and information with others who are passionate about science and knowledge and the unknown.”

Find out more about the research partnership at

During a tour of the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics at Garvan, International Summer Science Institute exchange students Milan Leonard and Dominic Agius learned about single cell genomic sequencing from Rob Salomon, the Centre’s Technical Director, and Hira Saeed, a specialist in flow cytometry.

8 Breakthrough

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