Multi-million dollar lift for St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation

Global ties: St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation chairman John Edmonds, Harvard Professor Richard Stevens, Barton MP Nick Varvaris and scientist Lislaine Wensing at the Education and Research Centre, Kogarah. Picture: John Veage
Global ties: St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation chairman John Edmonds, Harvard Professor Richard Stevens, Barton MP Nick Varvaris and scientist Lislaine Wensing at the Education and Research Centre, Kogarah. Picture: John Veage

Ongoing medical research will have greater presence as a community foundation welcomes a key funding pledge.

St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation is set to receive $4 million from the federal government if the Coalition is re-elected – a move the foundation said would lift the ambitions of medical research in the region.

Barton MP Nick Varvaris who for the past three years has helped the foundation gather the funds, said it would will cap off the strong growth of the Kogarah health precinct.

“We have world class researchers in our hospitals – research attracts and retains the best doctors and nurses,” he said.

“This next phase of the foundation’s growth will mean more jobs, growth and innovation.

“This money will continue the excellent work done by the foundation and strengthen their standing.”

As part of its goal, the foundation attracted world-renowned researchers to develop research projects at St George and Sutherland Clinical School this year.

Harvard Professor Richard Stevens and scientist Lislaine Wensing, who is on a fellowship grant from Brazil, are working together in research laboratories at St George Hospital, studying varied inflammatory diseases.

Dr Wensing has a PhD in physiology and is a postdoctoral research fellow of immunology. 

She is working under the supervision of Professor Stevens, an internationally recognised leader in the mast cell field, focusing on kidney disease.

His research has been instrumental in the understanding of the beneficial roles of mast cells in blood coagulation and innate immunity.

He has also researched the cell’s detrimental roles in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and allergic inflammation.

The foundation is also supporting Professor John Myburgh’s international research into brain injury.

Foundation chairman John Edmonds said the money would be a substantial and timely boost, as the foundation embarked on a major fundraising campaign.

He said businesses including St George Bank and Tynan Motors helped to set a platform for the Foundation.

“We want to attract more of the best researchers to the region because we know that medical research saves lives and improves lives,” Professor Edmonds said.

“The region’s hospitals deserve the best, and the foundation is determined to make sure that happens.”