Brennen Trust Helps Medical Research in Victoria
11 July 2012 at 9:57 am
The Harold & Cora Brennen Benevolent Trust has distributed $69,500 in funding to the Burnet Institute and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne to purchase specialised medical research equipment to assist in ongoing research projects.
This funding follows the distribution of $96,500 to a number of grant recipients earlier this year.
The Burnet Institute will receive $40,000 to purchase a ‘super resolution microscope’ to assist vaccine development by allowing scientists to capture images of human cells and infectious microbes in unprecedented detail. These organisms are too small to be properly observed using existing microscopes.
St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne has been given $29,500 for the purchase of a ‘live-cell fluorescence-imaging microscope,’ which will be used for several research projects at the hospital. One project includes research into bio-robotics for cancer and trauma patients, who have had to have amputations as part of their treatment. The microscope will enable researchers to work with live cells and tissues to assess how disease develops and whether drug treatments are being delivered.
Harold Brennen established the Trust through his will in 1996, to support the purchase of equipment for medical research into all aspects of medicine and surgery. The Trust, which is administered by Equity Trustees Limited and its co-trustees, Peter James and Dr Robert James, has granted over $1.5 million to medical institutions since its establishment through 67 grants.
Tabitha Lovett, head of philanthropy at Equity Trustees, said that the Brennen Trust is a good example of how trusts can be set up to support, in perpetuity, particular causes or areas such as medical research.
“The funding provided by the Trust over the last 16 years has meant a number of Victorian medical institutions have been able to advance their research goals. This has led to the development of significant treatments for medical conditions that affect many Australians such as skin cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy,” she said.
“The Brennen Trust was set up specifically to provide grants to medical institutions in Victoria to purchase equipment to assist in their research and, as administrators of the Trust, our responsibility is to ensure the Brennens’ philanthropic vision is realised.”