Garvan Institute of Medical Research was founded in 1963. Initially a research department of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, it is now one of Australia’s largest medical research institutions with nearly 650 scientists, students and support staff.
Our work encompasses a range of diseases that can affect people from early childhood through to late in life. Garvan has five research Divisions: Bone Biology, Cancer, Diabetes & Obesity, Immunology, and Neuroscience.
Garvan is a world leader in biomedical research, pioneering study into many of the most widespread diseases affecting our community today. Research at Garvan is focused on understanding the role of genes in health and disease as the basis for developing future cures. Garvan’s mission is to make significant contributions to medical science that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health. The outcome of Garvan’s discoveries is the development of better methods of diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately, prevention of disease.
Garvan researchers work across the range of the most common major conditions, rather than focus on a single disease. This means our scientists have a unique ability to form novel collaborations across normally discrete research areas. Cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, lupus, asthma, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, eating disorders, hearing loss – all these, and more are the challenges our scientists tackle everyday.
Some of Garvan’s major breakthroughs have included:
- Discovering a molecule that can switch appetite on and off, explaining extreme weight loss in late stage cancer.
- Developing a test that may predict the outcome of prostate cancer more effectively than the standard (PSA) test.
- Uncovering the role of abdominal fat in determining risk of type 2 diabetes and influencing insulin resistance.
- Developing and commercialising a treatment for anti-inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Identifying the high risk of osteoporotic re-fracture and early death in men compared to women.
- Identifying a pathway that reveals how a stress hormone in the brain can suppress the immune system.
- Discovering that adult olfactory stem cells can spawn hearing-like cells, with the potential to restore hearing.