Wesfarmers donates $5 million to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research to establish Western Australia’s first Professorial Chair in Women’s Cancers

Perth, Australia, 2014-11-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — 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.

“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.”

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

ABOUT THE HARRY PERKINS INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL RESEARCH: Our mission is to improve the health of Western Australians through cutting edge research that translates into new ways to prevent and treat disease. The research at the Perkins focuses on the major diseases that face Western Australians today including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The cancers under study include breast, prostate, melanoma, colon, head and neck, liver and leukaemia. For more information visit perkins.org.au or contact Communications Manager, Carolyn Monaghan Carolyn.monaghan@perkins.uwa.edu.au or 0448 021 932.