Our History - Research at Peter Mac
|From humble beginnings 60 years ago, to recognition today as one of the world’s leading and most progressive specialist cancer centres, we have an unequalled depth and breadth of research expertise and experience.|
|The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre began its journey through the concerted efforts of Professor Sir Peter MacCallum and Dr Rutherford Kaye-Scott, who convinced the Victorian Government to establish a cancer institute in March 1949. The Board met for the first time on 27 April that year and work began—with a budget of only 3,000 pounds—in one room of the former Queen Victoria Hospital at the corner of William and Little Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne.|
Research was established at the Little Lonsdale Street site within the Pathology, Physical Science, and Chemical Sciences departments in the early 1950s. Research grew rapidly with the development of new interest and activities, leading to the establishment of the Laboratory Research Complex in 1964. Research directions were established in endocrinology (1967), haematology (1972), immunobiology (1974), clinical immunology and immunogenetics (1976), experimental chemotherapy (1980) and molecular sciences (1988). Within twenty years, the extent of the research at Peter Mac and the expertise of the researchers had grown beyond the resources in the ‘dickensian’ laboratories and workshops available at the Little Lonsdale Street site.
|With the relocation of the hospital to a redeveloped St Andrew’s Hospital site, adjacent to the Fitzroy Gardens, research at Peter Mac acquired a new home in 1994 in the purpose-built Trescowthick Research Laboratories. |
With the recruitment of Professor Joseph Sambrook as Director of Research to head the new Research Laboratories, Peter Mac acquired a magnet for bright young researchers to join the established research group, resulting in the rapid growth of the research reputation and the cementing of a strong academic base in research that complements Peter Mac’s clinical focus.
The breadth and depth of research has changed over the last fifteen years. Through informal and formal processes, research collaborations are established across the Centre, nationally and internationally, providing opportunities that facilitate the rapid translation of research findings into the clinical outcomes for the diagnostic and treatment benefit of our patients.
The invaluable experience gained during those early, formative years—the rigorous laboratory research methods, the scrupulous design and conduct of clinical trials, the growing understanding of funding disciplines—created a vast reservoir of research expertise in key competencies that are, in fact, the cornerstones of today’s recognition as one of the world’s leading and most progressive specialist cancer research centres.
What started as a commitment and a passion in one room in 1949 is today an enduring and vibrant cancer research centre with an international focus—we’ve come a long way!
|Information about 'Our History' publication, celebrating 60 years at Peter Mac. |