From the director

From the director

Illuminate newsletter header, December 2015
December 2015

Professor Doug Hilton
Institute director Professor Doug Hilton

It has been a privilege and inspiration to be director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute during its centenary year.

Throughout this exciting and engaging year, I have been reminded of two very important reasons for our continued success. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and the community generously supports us.

Sharing our stories of discovery

During our centenary year, we compiled wonderful stories of discovery and endeavour for our Discovery Timeline website.

These stories of determined individuals and tenacious teams, flashes of brilliance and rigorous research all contribute to the bedrock upon which we stand as we prepare for the institute’s next chapter.

We were thrilled to win a gold medal at the Melbourne Design Awards for the website. But we are even more delighted to honour our past and look to our future with the stories we told. I encourage you to explore our Discovery Timeline.

Partnering with the community

It has been humbling to hear from so many community members – donors, patients and advocates who are vital members of our research teams – all with their own stories to tell.

We are grateful to our centenary donors, who are providing fellowship and project funds to 13 brilliant young scientists. Thank you for giving our most promising young scientists the certainty they need to continue their important work. We look forward to introducing our Centenary Fellows to our supporters early next year.

We will continue to emphasise the importance of retaining and supporting early-career scientists. It is our young investigators who will make the discoveries for the future.

Remembering Don Metcalf

It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since Professor Don Metcalf passed away. Don was an integral part of the institute and I notice his absence every day.

2015 Metcalf Scholars, Ms Maddy Dawson, Mr Adam Lipszyc and Miss Kimberley Callaghan
2015 Metcalf Scholars: (L-R) Miss Kimberley Callaghan, 
Mr Adam Lipszyc and Ms Madeleine Dawson

We created the Metcalf Scholarship Fund in Don’s honour. This year I had the privilege of announcing our three inaugural Metcalf Scholars.

The fund has been set up as a permanent part of the institute – every gift to the fund helps bright undergraduate science students experience life in the lab.

In this way, we honour Don and identify new talent: those students with the “shining eyes”, as Don would say.

I’m grateful to everyone who has made a gift to the Metcalf Scholarship Fund. Thank you for honouring Don and for showing us that you miss him as much as we do.

Tackling pancreatic cancer together

I am also proud to announce that, with the support of a generous centenary donor, the institute will significantly expand its research into new treatments for pancreatic cancer.

The Philip Hemstritch Pancreatic Cancer Research Program will focus on developing new strategies to overcome resistance to current therapies. We are grateful to Jane Hemstritch for initiating this program, in memory of her husband.

Every time I meet our supporters, I am reminded that we are unified by a shared passion; a passion for advancing human knowledge and relieving human suffering.

History tells us that together we will make discoveries that will have an impact on millions of people’s lives in the future.

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season.


All the very best, Doug

Super Content: 
Centenary Fellowship recipients

Looking to the future of medical research, the Centenary Fellowships campaign is raising money to support our best and brightest young scientists.

Professor Don Metcalf with staff and students

As a tribute to a scientist, known the world over as ‘the father of modern haematology’, the Metcalf Scholarship Fund has been established to support promising young researchers.

Research team in a lab

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