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 centenary institute
Summer 2013 Newsletter

As the Centenary approaches its 25th birthday in 2014, I reflect that we have achieved a lot together. And no one is more responsible for our progress than you, our regular and committed supporters. So coming up to Christmas and the holiday season is a good time to say thank you for all that you have done and ask that you join us on this most exciting journey over the next 25 years.

We have had a stunning year in discoveries in 2013. In many cases these discoveries are a culmination of effort over many years, but in all cases were dependent on the support of our donors. I hope you enjoy reading about some of our discoveries, research advances and news for 2013 in this update.

On behalf of our scientists, Board and staff I wish you a happy and safe festive season and New Year.

Kind regards
Professor Mathew Vadas AO
Executive Director

Our discoveries in 2013 

A brand new type of cell in our body!

Imagine after hundreds of years of looking we are still able to discover new cell types. A team headed by Professor Wolfgang Weninger discovered a new cell that plays a critical role in fighting infections, especially infections linked to eczema and allergies. To read our full story follow this link 

Junk DNA is useful in regulating how long cells live

A team headed by Professor John Rasko made this discovery with profound implications for cancer, especially cancers of the blood by using bioinformatics techniques not available until recent times. To read more about this discovery click here 

How prostate cancer grow

Dr Jeff Holst from our Origins of Cancer Laboratory and a team of researchers from Sydney, Vancouver, Adelaide and Brisbane showed that prostate cancer cells ‘buff up’ like body builders by eating more proteins. Since this takes place through a molecular gate new ways of treatment may be possible to shut this gate. Listen to Dr Holst talk to Radio 6PR about his discovery here 

Research excellence 

Centenary researchers recognised

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This year a number of our researchers have been recognised for their excellence and contribution to their fields. We are delighted to share some of these with you.


Dr Greg Fox won the annual Rita and John Cornforth Medal for the highest quality PhD thesis across the University of Sydney and for contributions to the University and broader community. Read Dr Fox's story here

Professor Wolfgang Weninger, who heads up Centenary's Immune Imaging program, was announced joint winner of the prestigious RPA Foundation Medal. Read Professor Weninger's story

Professor Geoff McCaughan head of Centenary’s Liver Injury and Cancer research program and director of the Australian National Liver Transplant Unit at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital won this year’s Distinguished Service Award of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS). Read Professor McCaughan's story here        

Public support is vital 

We are reliant on the Australian Public to support our work

Whilst we receive government grants and support from private trusts particularly for large projects, we are reliant on the Australian public to support our work – donor funding and bequest income are vital to us.


You may not realise just how critical donations from our donors and the public are. For every $1.00 of research income we receive we must find an additional 60 cents to fully fund our programs – donations from the public are an invaluable contribution to this.


Imagine if you played a role in our next scientific breakthrough - with a donation to the Centenary Institute you have the chance to be at the forefront of medical research Donate today.  

Stay in touch with our work 

Visit our website, follow us on twitter or like our facebook page

Don't forget to engage with our digital and 

2013 winner_The Eye of Sauron

social media for all our latest news and activities.


We actively share our news and updates via our social media channels - following us on Twitter liking our Facebook  page and saving our website and YouTube in your favourites will ensure you can keep up to date with all that we do.

The image featured in this article was awarded the 2013 Centenary Institute Scientific Image Prize. The annual prize enables our researchers to tell 'the story' of their work through imagery, in the most creative context. Congratulations to Dr Ka Ka Ting from our Vascular Biology group who created this year's winning image titled 'The Eye of Sauron'. To see more on the 2013 prize follow this link   

Have you read our latest Annual Report? 

Our latest Annual Report highlights our work in 

annual report



Centenary operates on a calendar reporting year - our next Annual Report will be available mid 2014.


Follow this link

Give a special gift this Christmas 

It's not too late for a last minute Christmas gift to Centenary 

Still trying to find those last minute special gifts?


Why not make a donation to the Centenary Institute in lieu of a Christmas gift to your loved one.


To donate click here 

Share your belief in Centenary

Your support of Centenary is invaluable and important to us - share your belief in our work with your friends and family.


Forward this message to a friend this message to a friend 

News and highlights

$1 million grant a major boost to immune research 

A $1 million grant from the Ramaciotte Prof Barbara Fazekas and Dr Adrian SmithFoundation will help Centenary establish the Ramaciotti Centre for Human Systems Biology.


Centenary’s Professor Barbara Fazekas de St Groth and Dr Adrian Smith along with Professor Nicholas King from the University of Sydney gained this prestigious grant to purchase Australia’s first CyTOF (cytometry by time of flight) mass spectrometer.


To read our full story click here 

Golden staph paralyses our immune defences  

When golden staph enters our skin it can 

Wolfgang_Weninger 2

identify the key immune cells and ‘nuke’ our body’s immune response.


Now we know how, thanks to an international research group led by dermatologists from Centenary and the University of Sydney. Golden staph (Staphylococuus aureus) is the multi-drug resistant bacterium that is the scourge of hospitals.


Staphylococuus aureus kills many, many people around the world. In fact, in the industrialised world, it kills more than tuberculosis and AIDS put together.


To read our full story click here

New centre set to stop TB in ageing Aussies 

A $2.5 million, six-nation initiative to fight 


tuberculosis has opened at the Centenary Institute, bringing together over 14 institutes.


Tuberculosis (TB) once killed more Australians than cancer. In 2011 we saw just four deaths. But the fight against TB is getting harder, particularly with Australia’s ageing population being more vulnerable and our nearest neighbour, Papua New Guinea, has more than 70 times the cases.


The Centre for Excellence in Tuberculosis Control (TB-CRE) was set up to link researchers in six countries to improve TB control, with the ultimate goal of eliminating TB transmission in Australia, and contributing to the world-wide campaign to eliminate TB by 2050. It is funded by the NHMRC, the National Health and Medical Research Council.


To read our full story click here

Creative Prize champions the future of research in Australia 

The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative 


Prize is a small step towards recognising that the most creative medical research is often done by researchers early in their career - at a time when it’s hardest for them to secure funding.


Dr Connie Wong from Monash University was announced the winner of the 2013 Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize at an announcement ceremony hosted by UBS Sydney. The $25,000 prize will help Dr Wong develop her ideas and research on how diet could prevent stroke deaths.


The two runners up were Dr Anne Abbott also from Monash University and Centenary's very own Dr William (Will) Ritchie.


To read about the ground breaking research work of our three finalists follow this link    

Future of Experimental Medicine Conference 

The Centenary Institute will host the 

Futures logo_Sails

inaugural Future of Experimental Medicine Conference focusing on Inflammation in Disease and Ageing.


To be held in Sydney from 16 - 19 March next year this exciting conference will feature international and national speakers and we believe will give direction for this research area over the next 5 years.


If you would like to learn more about the conference follow this link 

A special thank you 

Financial support to Centenary comes in many different ways

Specific donations, general donations, donations 

Chronic_disease_team_cropin memory, bequests, community fundraising, corporate, trust and foundation support - no matter how big or small every gift we receive is valued.


Our sincere thanks are extended to all our donors, supporters and organisations for your gifts - whether from your own belief in our work or in memory of a loved one we thank you.

2013 appeal highlights 

Chronic diseases, skin disease and TB highlighted in 2013

Our appeals enable us to share our 

First Place Philip Tong

advances and work in depth.


If you missed our appeals and would like to read about our advances in the areas of Chronic diseases, skin disease and TB please follow the links below.


Help us prevent Chronic diseases

Photograph by Dr Philip Tong

Centenary Institute Medical Research Foundation ABN 85 778 244 012 | Locked Bag 6 NEWTOWN NSW 2042 | 1800 677 977

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