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Annual Review 2016

40 years closer to a cure

Together, we are capable of extraordinary things, and together, I have no doubt we will achieve them.

2016 has been an extraordinarily successful year for the Institute, a year in which we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Institute’s foundation and reflected on the progress we have made towards one day curing every child with cancer. This year, we delivered on a number of key strategic goals and set in train multiple new initiatives. We are now reaping the benefits of the platforms, programs and partnerships established over the last few years, and this year set new records for both research grants and fundraising. All this puts us in a better position than ever to translate our research into improving outcomes for children.

Our 2016 highlights include:

  • We delivered on a number of key strategic goals and set in train multiple new initiatives.
  • In May, we were thrilled to have the Prime Minister, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, and the Federal Health Minister, The Hon Sussan Ley MP, visit the Institute to pledge $20 million from the Federal Government to roll out the Zero Childhood Cancer program nationally.
  • In September, we received a visit from His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), to open the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Child Cancer Personalised Medicine Centre.
  • In December, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner MP officially launched Paediatrio, a joint venture between our Institute, the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and Children’s Medical Research Institute, that aims to make NSW a world leader in paediatric research.
  • In June, Michelle Haber AM was honoured to convene the 2016 Advances in Neuroblastoma Research symposium, one of the largest child cancer research conferences in the world.
  • We redeveloped our laboratory and office spaces to appropriately staff the Zero Childhood Cancer program and allow for expansion.
  • Our research capacity was further strengthened this year by our grant success with a record $15 million in new funding.
  • Professor Maria Kavallaris, who received accelerated promotion to National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow, began her prestigious Program Grant this year with Professor Richard Lock in precision nanomedicine.
  • We received a 40% success rate in the NHMRC Project Grant scheme (compared with a 15% sector average) and the renewal of a second Program Grant in neuroblastoma research.
  • We have attracted significant competitive research grants from NHMRC and other funding agencies.
  • Two of our emerging leaders, Drs David Ziegler and Tao Liu, were this year promoted through UNSW to Associate Professor.
  • Over the past four years, our fundraising income has doubled to an extraordinary $16.5 million.
  • In 2016, 81 cents of every dollar spent within the Institute was spent directly on dedicated research to help cure childhood cancer.