Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


$10m commitment to medical research

Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) hosted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his wife, Therese Rein, on Sunday.

Also present were Tanya Plibersek, federal Minister of Health & Minister of Medical Research, Chris Bowen, Treasurer, David Bradbury, Assistant Treasurer, Ed Husic, Member for Chifley, and Julie Owens, Member for Parramatta.

Rudd announced a commitment of $10million towards CMRI’s stage 1 redevelopment, as well as money for other building projects in the area and much needed upgrades to Westmead Hospital, which hasn’t received federal money since 1978. He also called on the NSW State Government to match the federal government’s commitment.

Overall, the government has pledged $357 million to health and research.

This is about building up the Australian medical system, not tearing it down,” Rudd said.

He pointed out that the mining boom was coming to an end and, in order to avoid recession, Australia needs to diversify its economy and invest in new industries, like medical research, if it is to remain strong in the future.

Former state minister, Virginia Judge, is leading CMRI’s campaign to fund a five-stage redevelopment of its facilities in order to grow from 100 researchers to 400 over the next 10 years. She says, “Expanding our strengths in medical research needs to be a priority for all political parties.”

CMRI’s Director Professor Roger Reddel escorted the Prime Minister on a tour of CMRI’s facilities. The PM spoke to researchers and PhD students who are working to develop new technologies and better treatments for a range of diseases, including cancer and epilepsy.

Rudd explained the importance of CMRI’s world-leading work on telomerase and cancer to the media gathered for Sunday’s press conference.