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Disease Area News & Events Research Area December 9, 2021

At the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, researchers have big audacious goals that aim for medical discoveries and breakthroughs. The goal is like a moonshot and you can help reach the moon at

For the Perkins researchers, the moonshot is to make cancer, heart disease, diabetes and rare genetic diseases non-lethal. These diseases might not be cured, but the goal is to make them treatable so that people can live longer and better-quality lives.

Like the original moonshot, these discoveries start with seemingly insurmountable problems that demand significant investments of time and money, technology and thinking to solve.

Over 50 years ago, no one thought we would walk on the moon. No one thought we could successfully treat most breast cancers and some stage four melanomas. No one thought we could develop a vaccine to protect us from cervical cancer. All these things happened because brilliant minds were backed by a community of supporters who funded innovation.

96FM live read on the eve of fundraising platform launch.


The Perkins has a world-class team of researchers right here in WA, progressing medical research on hard-to-treat diseases.

Dr Elena Juan Pardo is Head of the Translational 3d Printing Laboratory for Advanced Tissue Engineering (T3mPLATE) at the Perkins. She hopes to make a difference to the lives of those facing cardiovascular disease, which kills one Australian every 12 minutes.

“I’m working on developing a 3D-printed heart valve that is completely biodegradable and can help a patient build their own tissue,” Dr Pardo said.

“My moonshot is to one day see our 3D-printed heart valve discovery applied to patient care. This would mean that people with cardiovascular disease would need no further treatment.”

Professor Jonas Nilsson, Head of the Perkins’ Melanoma Discovery Laboratory, says his moonshot is to improve the survival for melanoma patients by taking a basic discovery finding all the way to clinical trials, and from clinical trials to an approved therapy.

“I don’t think we’re very far from that,” he said.

The Perkins needs visionary supporters who can imagine future generations of family and friends living in better health. This is why the Perkins has launched ‘To the Moon and Back’, a virtual fundraising platform to give WA researchers the best chance of making their moonshot.

This initiative is made possible by a Lotterywest grant contribution and helps build a better WA together.

There are 384,400 kilometres to the moon. Each donation allows you to dedicate a distance in kilometres to a person who lives with a disease, or in memory for a loved one.

You donate your kilometres to medical research, write why you’re donating, and watch the universe expand because of your kindness.

All donations go directly to the Perkins researchers. Funded support stays in WA to ensure medical research continues to one day make life-threatening diseases treatable and liveable for your loved ones.

With the support of the WA community – people like you – this research is having a global impact.

Your gift could fuel the next big breakthrough.

The benefits of medical research impact you, your family and your loved ones including the person who lives with the disease, extended families, local GPs, specialists, and local hospitals. These benefits have global reach.

You can donate and honour a loved one by joining the virtual sky of special stars at

Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (ADVERTISER CONTENT), published originally online at, Wed 8 December 2021