Wesfarmers Donate to Women’s Cancer Research
25 November 2014 at 3:03 pm
A donation of $5million from one of Australia's largest listed companies Wesfarmers is set to have a major impact on women’s cancer research in Western Australia.
The Chairman of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Laurence Iffla, says Wesfarmers has donated $5 million to establish Western Australia’s first Professorial Chair in Women’s Cancers.
Wesfarmers which owns Coles, Target and Kmart was set up the company in 1914 as a Western Australian farmers' cooperative.
“This gift will enable the appointment of an outstanding scientist to lead the new Perkins Centre for Women’s Cancer Research,” 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 per cent, 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 Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research aims to improve the health of Western Australians through cutting edge research that translates into new ways to prevent and treat disease. The cancers under study include breast, prostate, melanoma, colon, head and neck, liver and leukaemia.