Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


The VGEF will boost gene therapy in NSW

Minister for Medical Research, The Hon Pru Goward
, has officially opened a new facility at Children’s Medical Research Institute. The Vector and Genome Engineering Facility (VGEF) will boost gene therapy in Australia, with the NSW Government providing over $1 million in funding to establish the VGEF as part of its paediatric research initiative.

“Gene therapy is the future of medicine, especially when it comes to dealing with the over 6000 rare genetic diseases affecting children in Australia and around the world. I am delighted to be able to launch the VGEF, which is committed to developing clinically useful tools enabling treatments and cures for these diseases,” Minister Goward says.

The facility’s leader, Dr Leszek Lisowski, helped develop a new method for perfecting the construction of ‘vectors’ for gene therapy and is applying his knowledge here in Australia.

“Essentially, the vectors VGEF develops are microscopic tools for delivering a healthy copy of a gene to the correct tissues and organs inside patients. This technology can speed up research and has the potential to treat and even cure a huge range of genetic diseases,” Dr Lisowski said.

“We are very grateful to the NSW Government which funded the set-up costs for VGEF in order to strengthen paediatric research in this state,” says CMRI’s Director, Professor Roger Reddel. “We were delighted that the Hon. Pru Goward MP, Minister for Medical Research, opened the facility.”