HMRI Director Prof Michael Nilsson

Professor Michael Nilsson

Professor Michael Nilsson - HMRI Director

HMRI continues to reap the dividends from strategic operations and proactive investment in infrastructure across the translational spectrum, manifesting as high-level publications, grant successes and a string of research outcomes.

Layer by layer, our researchers are peeling back the complexities of disease, achieving profound, lifechanging benefits for community wellbeing.

In findings published in The Lancet by Professor Jim Denham and his RADAR trial team, a new prostate cancer treatment was shown to reduce the spread of aggressive but localised tumours by 40 per cent, giving men a fighting chance against this brutal cancer.

Thanks to a study of cigarette smoke exposure by Public Health researchers, residents of multi-unit housing in NSW are no longer subject to harmful second-hand smoke in their homes. The Government responded to the study findings by introducing new strata by-laws.

In a ground-breaking discovery by Professor Phil Hansbro, published in Nature Immunology, a molecule known as ASC was found to be exacerbating inflammatory responses in major airway diseases. It took researchers closer to being able to inhibit inflammatory conditions at their source

At the same time, respiratory clinician Professor Peter Wark revealed positive results from an international Phase 2 trial of an anti-viral “interferon” that was greatly beneficial to patients when they developed a cold-induced asthma attack.

These are just a few of the important results delivered by researchers … outcomes that are inevitably borne from strong foundations and a cohesive culture of collaboration.

HMRI has continually fostered research support through CReDITTS – the Clinical Research Design, Information Technology and Statistical Support unit – and our world-class health research economists. This strong, research-enabling constellation provides invaluable expertise and, moving forward, will have health informatics added to the mix.

Our agenda around developing and measuring the translational health model has gained considerable momentum, leading to further recognition from colleagues, federal and state governments and funding bodies.

In October, the National Health and Medical Research Council conferred ‘Centre of Research Excellence’ status for both severe asthma and stroke rehabilitation – testament to the fact that these are truly elite programs under the HMRI banner.

Earlier, our Hunter Cancer Research Alliance became the first regional organisation to receive full Translational Cancer Research Centre status, along with $6.5 million from the Cancer Institute NSW

That we have grown to become the second largest independent medical research institute in NSW is a matter of immense pride. And thanks to the wonderful support we receive from the community, you won’t find us resting on our laurels in the future.

Professor Michael Nilsson, MD PhD

Director, HMRI
Burges Professor of Medical Science

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