From the director

From the director

Illuminate newsletter, Sept 2016
September 2016

Professor Doug Hilton
Institute director Professor Doug Hilton.

As winter ends in Melbourne, I can reflect on a busy few months at the Institute.

We’ve had many opportunities to connect with our community of supporters including through significant announcements in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as at public events including Open House Melbourne and our Art of Science and Silver Screen Science events at Federation Square.

Thank you to everyone who has supported these activities, and welcome to our new Illuminate readers! 

Celebrating Melbourne medical research

Earlier this month I attended the opening of the stunning new Melbourne Museum Biomedical Breakthroughs exhibition, which runs until January 2017.

Curated by our alumna Dr Johanna Simkin, this exhibition celebrates the centenaries of the Institute and our industry partner CSL (founded in 1916).

Biomedical Breakthroughs launch
Institute staff at the launch of Biomedical Breakthroughs
at Melbourne Museum.

From our earliest days, Institute researchers have had close ties with CSL. In the 1920s and 1930s this was seen in our collaborative work on developing snake venoms; today we work closely with CSL on a range of translational research projects.

CSL is also a generous contributor to our Centenary Fellowships campaign, providing support for researchers in bioinformatics and immunology.

The Melbourne Museum exhibit features historic items from both the Institute and CSL, as well interactive and immersive experiences that bring the inner workings of the human body to life. It has many fantastic examples of how our two organisations have improved health in Australia and worldwide.

I highly recommend the exhibit to any of our supporters, whatever your age or level of scientific training, who are in Melbourne in the coming months.

A special bequest

I am regularly reminded of how vital legacy gifts are to the Institute. It is always a special moment when we are notified that someone has remembered us in their will, often many decades after meeting an Institute researcher or hearing of our work.

Dr Kate Sutherland
Dr Kate Sutherland receives the Peter and Julie
Alston Centenary Fellowship in cancer research.

Recently, we received a very special bequest from the estates of Peter and Julie Alston. Julie had been a school friend of former director Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnet’s daughter Liz, and it appears she remembered fondly Liz’s stories of visiting the Institute with her father.

This generous bequest will support the Peter and Julie Alston Centenary Fellowship in cancer research, which has been awarded to Dr Kate Sutherland.

It was a pleasure to recently introduce Dr Sutherland to family representative Kate Summers. We hope this family connection to the Institute will continue for many more decades. I am delighted to add that Liz, and her husband Mick, continue to visit the Institute.

Very best wishes,



Super Content: 
Research team in a lab

Want to hear about our latest discoveries? Subscribe to our supporter newsletter, Illuminate

Photo of large group of alumni members

Keep in contact and share reminiscences with fellow alumni