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Direct from Doug

This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘22
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Professor Doug Hilton AO
Introduction

This issue of Illuminate brings you news of bright minds working together with passion, commitment and creativity to improve health outcomes for all of us.

Spring’s brighter days are most welcome after a challenging winter, with another wave of COVID-19 cases and a host of other respiratory viruses making their presence felt in our community.

The role of medical research in tackling COVID-19 and possible future pandemics was a key focus when WEHI hosted a visit by The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care and The Hon Ged Kearney MP, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care.

After meeting WEHI scientists on a tour of our laboratories, the Prime Minister spoke about the importance of medical research in making real and lasting impacts on people’s lives and reiterated the Australian Government’s support for the nation’s medical research efforts.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (left) takes a ‘selfie’ with WEHI Director Professor Doug Hilton, Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler (right) and Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (left) takes a ‘selfie’ with WEHI Director Professor Doug Hilton, Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler (right) and Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney (right foreground) during their recent visit to WEHI.

Community impact

It was also an honour earlier this year to mark National Reconciliation Week by announcing our partnership with leading Indigenous not-for-profit, DeadlyScience, to foster the next generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scientists.

DeadlyScience founder and CEO Corey Tutt OAM and WEHI’s Associate Professor Misty Jenkins share their vision for Indigenous-led initiatives in health research and community impact in our Brighter Together section.

Research collaborations

Our feature story reports on a new clinical trial showing a blood test that detects DNA from tiny tumour fragments could save hundreds of thousands of people worldwide from unnecessary chemotherapy after colon cancer surgery.

And while the global pandemic has dominated headlines and attention, malaria continues to exact a huge toll in terms of illness and death around the world. WEHI researchers from different disciplines are actively working and collaborating on a wide range of malaria-related projects.

Committed and passionate

WEHI’s research would not be possible without the extraordinary generosity of our supporters. In Powered by Philanthropy, we acknowledge the lives and legacies of Olive Thurlby, a committed and passionate donor to WEHI, and Alfred Hughes, whose Estate is funding scholarships supporting three of our PhD students.

With our annual Art of Science competition underway, I’m looking forward to seeing the finalists and celebrating the wonders of scientific imaging and the creativity of our researchers. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the competition launched in 1997 by Professor Suzanne Cory, former WEHI Director. We hope you will visit our 2022 online gallery (launching on 21 October) and vote for your favourite.

Stay safe and take care.

First published on 15 September 2022
This article featured in Illuminate Newsletter Spring ‘22
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