New chairperson appointed to WA medical research institute

Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Professor Peter Leedman, and outgoing chairperson, Mr Larry Iffla, have welcomed the appointment of new chairperson, Western Australia’s recently retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, The Hon Wayne Martin AC QC.

Wayne MartinMr Martin, the 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, retired in July 2018 after 12 years in the role. 

“We look forward to Mr Martin guiding the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research as it advances understanding of the causes of debilitating diseases such as cancer and heart disease, and drives commercialisation of discoveries,” Mr Iffla said.

Mr Martin said, “Achieving financial sustainability and ensuring the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research continues to attain a high rate of success with its grant applications are key priorities of the strategic plan.”

The Institute is named after its inaugural Chairman, Bruce Rock farmer and former Wesfarmers Chair, Harry Perkins. 

 “It was always Harry Perkins’ vision to build collaboration and excellence in medical research in Western Australia and a sustainable business model will ensure that continues,”Mr Martin said.

During Mr Iffla’s term as Chairperson, the Perkins opened its two state-of-the-art research buildings, both adjacent to major teaching hospitals. 

“The opening of the two medical research buildings in 2014 was the culmination of a lot of hard work by past chairmen Harry Perkins and Dick Lester and many others” Mr Iffla said.  

 “I have been fortunate to have worked with two passionate and committed Directors of the Institute in Professor Peter Klinken until 2014 and Professor Peter Leedman as the current Director. 

“I became Chairman at a time when construction of the $200m two Harry Perkins Institute research buildings was commencing and I am very proud that the response to these new buildings has been everything you could want. The medical research here is absolutely world class.” 

Mr Iffla was also Chairman at the launch of the Institute’s clinical trials facility, Linear Research Ltd, now recognised as one of Australia’s leading drug and treatment trial centres, employing more than 100 full time staff.

Mr Martin will assume his voluntary role on the 1stof January 2019 for a 3 year term.

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