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ANZAC Research Institute celebrates milestone

District marks 20th anniversary of the ANZAC Research Institute. 

SydneyConnect Video: ANZAC Research Institute reception at Admiralty House

The ANZAC Research Institute is celebrating a significant milestone - more than 20 years of delivering internationally renowned biomedical research, since first opening its doors in 2000.

Based at Concord Hospital, the Institute has a focus on ageing related diseases and aims to improve the future health and medical care for the Australasian community.

It is now a partnership between Sydney Local Health District, Concord Hospital and the University of Sydney and was named in honour of the legacy of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps - the ANZACs - and their tradition of service, selflessness and mateship.

The Institute's patron, the Governor-General David Hurley and his wife Mrs Linda Hurley hosted a reception at Admiralty House in recognition of the Institute's milestone.

"It keeps true to the ANZAC legacy of looking after your mates... by research, by driving change and providing care for those who are in need," he said.

Among those who attended were NSW Minister for Veterans David Elliott, District Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson, Institute Founding Director Professor David Handelsman, the Institute's Acting Director Associate Professor Georgina Clark, the ANZAC Health and Medical Research Foundation Chair Professor Andrew McLachlan and Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor, at the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney Professor Robyn Ward.

A special painting by Aboriginal artist Lee Hampton, that embodies the Institute's past but also celebrates its future, was on display at the event.

The Institute houses about 115 staff and, over the past two decades 70 PhD students have undertaken their studies there. Through its public and private partnerships, the Institute facilitates the translation of research into practice, publishing on average 130 peer reviewed research papers a year.

Its current research themes are Andrology, Atherosclerosis, Biogerontology, Bone Biology, Burns Research, Dendritic Cell Research, Neurobiology Platelets, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Associate Professor Vivien Chen, a haematologist at Concord Hospital and the leader of the Platelet and Thrombosis Research Laboratory at the Institute, presented her work leading the Vaccine Induced Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia (VITT) team.

The team developed a novel approach to diagnosing and managing a new disease which developed in some patients who had the AstraZeneca (AZ) COVID-19 vaccine.

"Vivien eptomises the amazing work at the ANZAC Research Institute not only is embedded in Concord Hospital but very importantly has international credibility and is helping to change the health and wellbeing of not only our local community but our international community," Dr Anderson said.

Professor McLachlan said the Institute's researchers, like Associate Professor Chen, are creative thinkers who work hard to translate their discoveries into clinical care.

"The researchers at the ANZAC are inspiring. But the real value of the ANZAC Research Institute is the impact this biomedical research will have on the health and wellbeing of the community now but more importantly, in the future," he said.

The Institute's Acting Director Associate Professor Georgina Clark named the winners of three ANZAC Research Institute-Concord Hospital Grants-In-Aid, which aim to foster and support early to mid-career researchers.

Kheng-Seong Ng was awarded a $50 000 to further his research into colorectal cancer surgery; Bianca Grosz was awarded the $25 000 to advance her research to identify novel disease genes and mutations; and Anthony Cutrupi was awarded the $5000 to further research into the impact of ageing on late onset neuro-degenerative diseases.

"These grants will enhance research on the Concord campus and enhance the networks between the hospital and the ANZAC Research Institute," she said.