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Without you, the Perkins would cease to exist. We value you – your
opinion, your financial contribution and your friendship.


It’s through the support of the WA community, that a bold vision to improve community health has resulted in life-changing outcomes for many Australian families. A seed planted in 1998 to grow a world-class research environment in Perth evolved into a leading institute delivering outcomes that each day move us closer to new treatments and better healthcare for everyone.

Global leader

Our teams are working with researchers from all over the world to find new and better ways to improve health for our families and yours.

Collaborators in 97 cities, 29 countries, 6 continents.

Major Highlights


The Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR) is established as a collaboration between Royal Perth Hospital, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and The University of Western Australia. Director Professor Peter Klinken leads 27 researchers in three teams investigating different facets of cancer.


Wesfarmers becomes a major sponsor with a $5 million donation – at the time, the biggest corporate donation to medical research in Australia’s history. WAIMR becomes Australia’s first multi-campus research institute for the study of adult disease.


The Institute expands to investigate heart disease, asthma, cancer and immunology, neuroscience, neurotrauma, metabolism and musculoskeletal conditions.


Perkins researchers contribute to important research into a new way to engineer virus-like particles for drug delivery.


Perkins researchers find that a gene called sonic hedgehog (Shh) was crucial for rapid, extensive expansion of the developing brain.


Fremantle Hospital becomes a partner. Perkins researchers investigate a type of legume thought to have properties that reduce the incidence of breast cancer.


Diabetes researchers at the Perkins lead the creation of the world's most powerful genetic resource. This enables rapid identification of genes for complex traits, helping researchers around the world make important advances in melanoma, mesothelioma, diabetes, dementia, heart disease and much more.


Neurogenetic researchers at the Perkins discover that a particular gene mutation causes Laing distal myopathy – a condition named after the team leader, Professor Nigel Laing AO. It is believed that Laing distal myopathy is the commonest distal myopathy in the world and the breakthrough led to diagnosis and answers for patients.


Our teams discover a new gene called SLIRP that effects breast and prostate cancer, diabetes and fertility.


Professor Laing’s team finds that mutations in a skeletal muscle gene is the cause of many cases of a severe condition that paralyses babies in the womb. The discovery helps parents have healthy babies.


Scientists at the Perkins undertake a major study into whether a drug used for generations to treat gout could be used to prevent heart attacks.


A major discovery into how to normalise highly chaotic cancer blood vessels is made by Perkins researchers. Tumour blood vessels can act as a barrier to stop immune cells and medicines reaching the cancer, and our researchers are creating treatments that supercharge our immune cells and break down the tumour barrier in one life-saving hit.


Perkins researchers identify of over 40 genes that affect the risk of someone developing Type 1 Diabetes.


Linear Clinical Research Ltd is established as WA’s only dedicated and Australia’s most advanced early phase clinical trials facility. Linear is a step towards helping Perkins researchers move their discoveries from the lab bench to the patients who need them most.


Researchers at the Perkins discover a gene that is required by our bodies to produce the energy they need. The improved understanding of how these genes work gives new insights into how energy production can fail in metabolic disease, diabetes and cancer.


The first major cycling event to support cancer research at the Perkins is held and 1219 riders raise $4.6 million.


Our teams make a ground breaking discovery in new ways that silence the genes that drive breast cancer growth.


The Perkins moves into a state-of-the-art research facility at the QEII Medical Centre; the Institute is renamed in honour of inaugural Chairman, Harry Perkins; and Professor Peter Leedman takes up Directorship.


A new treatment targeting chronic kidney disease is developed by Perkins researchers.


Perkins researchers demonstrate that a recessive gene mutation causes some cases of sudden infant death. The discovery could help screen for affected babies.


Perkins scientists develop new method to tackle aggressive breast cancer, more effective than current treatments, using nanoparticles to deliver anti-cancer drugs right to the tumour.


A Perkins-led landmark study doubles the estimate of our functional genes and finds evidence of evolutionary selection, which links with major diseases in a poorly understood class of genes.


Perkins researchers uncover evidence linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells.


Perkins team finds new way to defend against Type 2 Diabetes


New Perkins facility opens to help Perth melanoma patients.


WA’s first pre-pregnancy screening program for genetic disease is launched by Perkins researchers.


World-class cell sequencing centre opens and is set to transform cancer research in WA.

Graphic of a lab microscope with the text