Vision, destiny and sheer commitment all played their part in the birth of Children’s Medical Research Institute, in particular it was the commitment of Australian paediatrician and researcher Sir Lorimer Dods, that turned vision into reality on behalf of children everywhere. Sir Lorimer passionately believed that prevention is better than cure and that research holds the key to prevention.
The Children’s Medical Research Foundation was established in 1958 with funds raised by Australia’s first telethon and a large public campaign. It was renamed Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) in 1985.
In 2008 we celebrated the 50th anniversary of CMRI and created a video snapshot of some of our significant achievements over the last half-century. View the video "50 Years of Discovery."
The early years
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Establishment of Australia’s first Centre for Kinomics (CFK) in conjunction with the University of Newcastle, called the Australian Cancer Research Foundation Chemical Proteomics Centre for Kinomics, supported by Ramaciotti. The CFK will help scientists to improve the design of current therapeutic drugs and to develop new therapeutic drugs for a multitude of human diseases, many of which are currently without any drug treatment.
The Cancer Research Unit discovered ALT, a method that cancer cells use to achieve ‘immortal’ growth. In 2009, scientists in the Cancer Research Unit developed a test that will aid the identification of cancers that rely on ALT, and greatly speed up the search for medicines to treat these cancers.
In 2008, scientists in the Embryology Unit completed a “fate map” of early embryo development, the culmination of 25 years of research. This work will provide an essential reference for global research into developmental problems such as neurological defects and malformations of the head, face, limbs and eyes.
Scientists at CMRI identified for the first time ever that a defect in a single gene, rather than a multifactorial effect, can cause cleft lip and palate. These findings will help families affected by the condition.
CMRI jointly established Australia’s first Gene Therapy Research Unit (GTRU) in 1995 with clinical partner The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The group has since pioneered a way of repairing damaged heart tissues that form in the heart muscle following a heart attack. This technique may benefit children born with congenital heart defects as well as patients with heart disease, and other people with a range of conditions of the heart, both genetic and non-genetic. In recent years, the GTRU has developed a technique to deliver healthy genes to diseased liver tissues in mice to overcome the effects of a serious metabolic liver disorder, and has also participated in clinical trials of gene therapy as a treatment for a severe immune disorder
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