Women's Cancer Research to benefit from Wesfarmers Gift

A substantial philanthropic gift from Wesfarmers will have a major impact on women’s cancer research in Western Australia.

The Chairman of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Laurence Iffla, announced that Wesfarmers has donated $5 million to the Perkins to establish Western Australia’s first Professorial Chair in Women’s Cancers. 

Bob Every and Larry Iffla
To mark the establishment of the Wesfarmers Chair in Women's Cancers
a presentation was made to Dr Every by Laurence Iffla at the
Wesfarmers Oration the following day.

“This gift will enable the appointment of an outstanding scientist to lead the new Perkins Centre for Women’s Cancer Research,” Mr Iffla said.

The Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Professor Peter Leedman, said the centre would focus on defeating two of the most challenging diseases facing women:  breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

“One in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer,” Professor Leedman said.

“As a result of medical research, survival rates for women with breast cancer have increased but more work is urgently needed, particularly on “triple negative” breast cancer, the cancer for which there is currently no successful targeted treatment.

“For the thousands of women who suffer from the “silent killer”, ovarian cancer, the future is bleak.  With a survival rate of less than 20%, cancer of the ovary is the most prevalent, and lethal, form of gynaecological cancer. “Further discovery-based medical research will result in more effective and targeted treatments,” Professor Leedman said. 

The Institute will soon advertise for a leading researcher to fill the Wesfarmers Chair in Women’s Cancers position.

The announcement was made at the 2014 Wesfarmers Harry Perkins Oration, which featured guest speaker, Professor Garry Jennings AO.

Professor Jennings' talk, "Hearts, minds, health and research - please mind the gap," was listened to by 250 people in the McCusker Auditorium.

An internationally renowned Cardiologist, Professor Jennings warned that "Sitting is the new Smoking" and talked about how a sedentary lifestyle was contributing to heart attacks, as well as giving updates on the latest medical research and treatments available.

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