Senior faculty

Division co-heads

Cancer and cell biology
Ruth Ganss

Professor Ruth Ganss
Ruth Ganss is a Research Professor at the Perkins and NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. Her team studies vascular and stromal remodelling in the context of tumour growth and cardiovascular pathologies. During the last decade, her research at the University of California, San Francisco and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg has focused on blood vessels as the interface between immunology and cancer research. Her current studies at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth aim to identify convergent and common mechanisms in the pathogenesis of two major disease groups, namely cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Andy Redfern

Associate Professor Andrew Redfern
Andrew Redfern is Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at the Perkins and practices as a medical oncologist at the Fiona Stanley Hospital. He was the Inaugural Medical Director and now Chief Medical Advisor of Linear Clinical Research specializing in early phase human trials. He is coordinator of Medical Oncology research at Royal Perth Hospital, Principal Investigator of a range of trials and state co-ordinator of Advanced Training in Medical Oncology. He is Chairman and Lead Clinician of the State Breast Cancer Collaborative. He is on research advisory boards for the Cancer Council of Western Australia and the National Breast Cancer Foundation and is a regular speaker for CCWA, NBCF and Breast Cancer Network Australia.

Clinical science
Grant Morahan

Professor Grant Morahan
Professor Grant Morahan is a graduate of La Trobe and Melbourne Universities, and holds a doctorate in immunogenetics from the University of Melbourne. He worked as a Fogarty International Fellow at the prestigious Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in California. Taking up a position at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, he led a research team working on the genetics of complex diseases and researching immunological tolerance. His research has included genetics of type 1 diabetes in humans and in animal models; genetics of asthma, obesity, demyelinating diseases, cardiovascular disease and malaria; characterization of mechanisms of immune tolerance; and production of monoclonal antibodies. Currently, Professor Morahan is Director of the Centre for Diabetes Research at the Perkins.

Peter Thompson

Professor Peter Thompson AM
Professor Thompson is Deputy Director. He graduated in Medicine from The University of Western Australia in 1964 and obtained his Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1973.  In 1977 he obtained his Fellowship of the American College of Cardiology and in 1978 Fellowship of the American College of Physicians.  He supervises one of the largest cardiovascular clinical trials unit in Australia. He is Director of Research Development and a cardiologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and Clinical Professor Medicine and Population Health at UWA. 

Molecular medicine
 Nigel Laing

Professor Nigel Laing AO
Professor Nigel Laing obtained both his BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology (1976) and PhD in Physiology (1979) from the University of Edinburgh. He spent one year as a Post-doc at the University of Oslo (1980) before coming to The University of Western Australia in January 1981. His PhD and early career research was as a developmental neurobiologist investigating how motor neurons and muscles interact and determine each other's properties in the developing embryo. For a 12-month period, July 1987 to June 1988, Professor Laing re-trained in molecular genetics with Professor Teepu Siddique in Professor Allen Roses' Laboratory at Duke University North Carolina. Currently, Professor Laing heads the Perkins laboratory for Neurogenetic diseases. 

Phillipa Lamont

Professor Phillipa Lamont
Professor Phillipa Lamont is a paediatric neurologist at Princess Margaret Hospital and the Director of the Neurogenetic Unit at Royal Perth Hospital. Her formal training includes both paediatric and adult neurology. She completed her post-doctoral studies at the Centre for Neurological and Neurosurgical Diseases at Queen Square, London, in the laboratory of Professor Anita Harding.

Clinical trials advisor

Graeme Hankey

Professor Graeme Hankey
Professor Graeme J Hankey is Professor of Neurology, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, The University of Western Australia; and a Consultant Neurologist, Department of Neurology, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. He received his undergraduate medical training at the University of Western Australia, and trained in neurology at the Royal Perth Hospital, Australia; Mayo Clinic, USA; and Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK. His main research interests include epidemiological studies and clinical trials of interventions to prevent and treat stroke. 

International liaisons

Aleksandra Filipovska

Professor Aleksandra Filipovska
Aleksandra Filipovska received her PhD in 2002 from the University of Otago, New Zealand. From 2003-2005 she was a NZ Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Fellow at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. In 2006 she relocated to Australia as a NHMRC Howard Florey Fellow and established her research group at the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research. She was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow from 2009 to 2014 and currently she is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Research Professor at The University of Western Australia. Her research interests are in the regulation of mitochondrial gene expression by RNA-binding proteins in health and disease. In addition her research group uses next generation technologies to identify pathogenic mutations in mitochondrial genes that cause mitochondrial disease in genetically isolated populations. 


Alistair Forrest

Professor Alistair Forrest
Professor Forrest was born in Western Australia and obtained his BSc (Hons) in Biotechnology at Murdoch University in 1993. He then moved to Brisbane and while working as a research assistant at the QIMR completed a Masters in Information Technology at the Queensland University of Technology. Shortly afterward, he completed his PhD in Bioinformatics at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. In 2007 he moved to RIKEN Yokohama Japan on a CJ Martin Fellowship. Over the past seven years he has progressively been promoted at RIKEN taking on more senior roles, and is currently scientific coordinator of the FANTOM5 (Functional Annotation of the mammalian genome) project consisting of a consortium of over 250 scientists in 20 countries. 

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