From the director

From the director

Illuminate newsletter index page, September 2018
September 2018
As we near the final quarter of 2018, I am excited about what our Institute has achieved. It has been a busy year on many fronts, and you will be able to read about some recent highlights in this edition of Illuminate.

I continue to be amazed by the creativity our scientists show in approaching the challenging problems of modern medical research. In this edition you can read about diverse research successes that have relied on drug discovery, bioinformatics and computational biology and cryo-electron microscopy – all areas that in the past decade have revolutionised how medical research discoveries are made.

Support from our community

The Institute exists to serve our community through improving health. Over the winter we had a number of opportunities to engage with people in our local community.


More than 4500 people viewed the Art of Science
Exhibition in Federation Square during National
Science Week.

We were thrilled that more than 4500 people viewed our Art of Science Exhibition in Federation Square during National Science Week. Another highlight was our involvement in Open House Melbourne, during which more than 350 members of the public toured our laboratories and met our scientists. Both events were great opportunities for people in our community to discover the Institute’s research and our impacts on health.

I would like to express my ongoing gratitude to our supporters, who continue to enable important aspects of our research. I will soon be leading the Institute’s team in Connor’s Run, an initiative of the Robert Connor Dawes (RCD) Foundation. The RCD Foundation supported the Institute’s tax appeal that raised funds for vital research into treatments for brain cancer. This year we have also been able to welcome 20 students from leading Chinese universities to the Institute, through our InSPIRE program. This program would not be possible without our growing list of program supporters who are helping to promote a very important educational and cultural exchange between Australia and China. You can read about both initiatives in this edition of Illuminate.


Director Doug Hilton (left) with the trustees of Marion
Page's estate, including Marion Page's cousin Professor
Kathryn McPherson.

Remembering Marion Page

Last month we were honoured to receive a $5.5 million bequest from the late Marion Page (nee McPherson), a dear friend and supporter of the Institute for more than 60 years.

Marion was the only daughter of the pastoralist Sir Clive Macpherson, who was himself a supporter of the Institute. Marion continued her father’s interest, becoming an Institute member in 1959. The generous support of Marion and her dear friend Dr Gytha Betheras enabled us to establish the Page Betheras Award in 2013. This award provides technical assistance to female scientists while they are on maternity leave, helping them to maintain the momentum of their research.

The generous bequest from Marion’s estate will be used to establish the McPherson Family Fellowships in immune health.

Super Content: 
Scientist pipetting at a lab bench

Our internship program provides an opportunity for students to gain research experience in high performing laboratories.