Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


CMRI to gain $21m from Labor


Children’s Medical Research Institute’s expansion has received a funding commitment of $21 million from the Australian Labor Party, if it is elected to Government this month.

Shadow Treasurer, The Hon Chris Bowen MP and Federal Member for Parramatta, Ms Julie Owens MP visited CMRI at Westmead on Wednesday 1 May for this pre-election announcement. The funds will contribute toward the construction of a new building which will help expand CMRI’s research facilities.

Mr Bowen said, “I can’t think of anything better to be announcing’’.

“Children’s Medical Research Institute is working on solutions for tomorrow… most days, us mere mortals can only marvel at that, put on our jeans, and give a gold coin donation – or - for those of us who are in a position to do more, we should . So, I am very pleased to announce $21 million for a new CMRI facility,’’ Mr Bowen said. “I can’t wait to come back and one day cut the ribbon on the building.’’

Ms Owens said, “This Institute deserves our strongest support’’.
“It is creating a whole ecosystem for the future,’’ she said. “This is world changing work –  where Australia will lead the world….. from, right here. The work you are doing now will open doors for the future, and we should be rightly proud.’’

CMRI’s Director Professor Roger Reddel said research provides real hope for families.

“A big gap has opened up between our ability to diagnose genetic diseases and our ability to treat these difficult conditions that affect children and their families,’’ Professor Reddel said. “Now, remarkable developments are starting to happen on the treatment front, and Children's Medical Research Institute has an internationally leading role in developing new treatments and hopefully cures for previously untreatable genetic conditions.

There is an urgent need to expand our research laboratories so we can bring these benefits to Australian families as rapidly as possible.
We very much appreciate this funding commitment toward the health of our children and of future generations.’’
Amanda Fenn, whose son Ethan is one of the faces of this year’s Jeans for Genes campaign, spoke about five-year-old Ethan living with a genetic condition known as Cystinosis, which affects every organ in his body.
“Without medication they gave us until the age of eight or nine,’’ Mrs Fenn said. “research  gave us the medications and we continue to rely on research for better treatments and maybe, one day, a cure.

“We need funding to expand CMRI’s research to help develop cures. A lot of research needs to happen, because we’re dealing with a life-and-death situation.

“To one day have Ethan or children like him to be able to say they once had a genetic disease that was thought to be incurable and don’t have it anymore – that’s our main aim.’’