News & Events June 1, 2022

Hard to treat cancers and rare disease gene discovery just some of the research supported by WA awards                                                                                       

The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research received eight grants ranging from $110,000 to $340,000 in the WA Research Excellence Awards (REA) 2022 program.

The grants are part of the more than $10 million awarded to some of Western Australia’s leading health and medical researchers.

The REA program recognises and supports high-performing early-and mid-career researchers and established researchers in WA.

Cancer researcher Professor Ruth Ganss said the funds will expand a program to improve cancer immunotherapy, where the body’s own immune system is boosted to combat cancer.

“These funds will help us with our work in inducing clusters of immune cells inside some tumours.

“We are one of only a few laboratories globally which has developed drugs to induce these immune clusters.

“This is a new and very exciting area in modern medicine where we are hoping to put more resources in and test more treatments that combine new therapeutics with immunotherapy.”

Other Perkins recipients included geneticists Professor Nigel Laing AO and Dr Gina Ravenscroft who search for the causes of rare genetic diseases, including for families from around the world. Their laboratories have already identified more than 40 disease genes.

The 2020 joint WA Scientist of the Year, Professor Ryan Lister and former Eureka Prize winner Professor Alistair Forrest, experts in single cell sequencing, genomics and epigenetics received grants to expand their investigations into the building blocks of disease.

In total 51 recipients in WA’s research institutes and universities have been awarded grants to spend over a two-year period.

The Research Excellence Awards is a program of the Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund, which is a secure funding source to drive health and medical research and help develop innovation and commercialisation in WA.



Media Contacts:  Miriam Borthwick M 0437 411 683      E [email protected]