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Message from Institute Director

Thank you for supporting the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute during this difficult and unprecedented time.


The Institute like all of us, is navigating its way through the Covid-19 pandemic. This has meant significant changes to how we go about our research. We have modified our workplace to comply with social isolation and hygiene procedures, as directed by Government authorities to maintain a safe workplace. We play an essential role in providing facilities to store and process patient samples for ongoing research and clinical trials in the region. Furthermore, we continue to receive patient samples for patients diagnosed with cancer or blood disorders.

Cancer is not elective and we want you to know that our research continues on.


With many of our fundraising programs put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic, donations are our major source of funding. We are at an exciting stage, with many of our research programs producing results for publication in international scientific journals. We need the community’s support to maintain this momentum.


This year we have appointed internationally recognised scientist, Dr Aparna Jayachandran to lead our new Breast cancer research program, focusing on triple negative breast cancer. The Institute is well placed to undertake research.


Our research continues to learn how the immune system can fight cancer. The overall focus of our program, is to determine protein targets on cancer cells that may be involved in evading the immune system, by creating a camouflaging “fog” around these cells. It is hoped that by identifying these proteins, druggable antibody targets can be developed that would “lift the fog” from these cells and allow the immune system to attack the cancer. This approach, becoming the future treatment alternative to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


Our key projects are Immunology, Breast cancer, Ovarian cancer, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis and Renal cancer. The Institute currently has 8 PhD students from Federation University Australia and 14 senior scientific staff.

We are Australia’s only regionally based cancer research facility, non-government funded and work with our community to sustain our research program based in Ballarat. We are an example that internationally recognised research can be done outside of the metropolitan centres.


Cancer is something that touches many Australian families. Each day 396 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer. Diagnosis and treatments are improving all the time. But while this disease kills, we must continue our part in researching for a cure.


As we approach the end of the financial year, you may be considering making a tax deductable donation to a worthwhile cause. Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute is a regional organisation making a world-class contribution to cancer research, that requires the continued support of the community to ensure our future. We are a registered charity and all donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

To donate online follow this link.


Once again, we thank you. It is only through your generous support that our Institute can continue to Fight Cancer Through Research.

Yours sincerely,

Professor George Kannourakis