WEHI’s Acceleration Partners program brings together a group of visionary supporters with a singularly ambitious goal – to speed up the pace of pioneering medical research in Australia.

To provide hope to patients NOW whilst maintaining a commitment to long-term research that will provide life-changing treatments for future generations.

Our aim

To find a single medical breakthrough – one that changes our understanding of cancer, dementia, immunology, or infectious diseases – and could benefit hundreds of thousands of Australians.

This program was established to bring together a group of like-minded philanthropists with the aim of accelerating the pace of transformational research discovery.

Acceleration Partners make targeted investments in two of our most promising research projects each year, assessed by experts as being on the cusp of critical discovery.

Current projects

New ways to predict and prevent cancer and age-related diseases

Associate Professor Ian Majewski leads a research group investigating why there is such a large variation in how individual cancer patients respond to anti-cancer therapy, and why some cancers run in families.

By better understanding how the ageing process works at the molecular level, Ian and his team can predict and prevent a wide range of age-related diseases, including many types of cancer, inflammation and neuro-degeneration.

The development of a world-first model – which speeds up genomic ageing to study both agents of DNA damage and DNA repair – has vast translational potential, including:

  • the discovery of new therapeutic targets for ageing – drugs to enhance DNA repair activity and slow DNA damage
  • new diagnostic tools to detect variations in DNA damage and repair activity, to identify individuals at greater risk of developing cancer
Associate Professor Ian Majewski
Above: Associate Professor Ian Majewski

New treatments for serious blood diseases

Dr Nadia Kershaw will be leading a project that looks at molecular ‘messengers’ known as cytokines and how disfunction can lead to a group of blood cancers known as myeloproliferative diseases. In these cancers, defective blood cells go into overdrive, damaging the bone marrow and eventually compromising the body’s ability to produce healthy cells.

By gaining a deeper understanding of the Thrombopoietin Receptor, Nadia and her team hope to learn how to ‘switch off’ the excessive signalling that results in the development of myeloproliferative diseases.

By understanding how and why cytokines swing into action (including misdirected action), we can harness the body’s own defence systems to also fight myriad inflammatory and immune system disorders.

Dr Nadia Kershaw
Above: Dr Nadia Kershaw

Other ways to donate

To make a credit card donation by phone, please call +61 3 9345 2403 (9am to 5pm AEST).

To donate by cheque, please download this donation form.

If you would like to make a donation via bank transfer, please call our Fundraising team on (03) 9345 2403 or email us at fundraising@wehi.edu.au

To request donation envelopes to use at an event, please contact us on 03 9345 2403 or fundraising@wehi.edu.au.

US supporters can donate via the Chapel & York US Foundation, nominating The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research as a recipient.

Donations to WEHI of $2 or more are fully tax deductible.

Become an Acceleration Partner today

If you would like to learn more about this program, you can contact our team.

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Illuminate Spring 2023
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