World-class Molecular Genetics Facility at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre opened by Governor of NSW

Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales will today officially open the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF) Molecular Genetics Facility at The Kinghorn Cancer Centre in Darlinghurst. The Centre is a joint venture of the Garvan Institute and St Vincent’s Hospital and brings together Garvan’s cutting edge research and the clinical expertise at St Vincent’s.

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre provides leadership in a new era in cancer research and clinical care in Australia. The Centre places the patient at the centre of all decisions, maximising the rapid translation of research findings to new approaches for personalised cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

The ACRF, a private charity which funds world-class cancer research in Australia, awarded its equal largest ever research grant of $5 million towards the construction of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre. The grant honours the late Lady (Sonia) McMahon, life member and a founder of the ACRF in 1984. A plaque in Lady McMahon’s honour will also be unveiled today at the Centre.

The ACRF Molecular Genetics facility was originally established in 2005 at the Garvan with a separate $1.1 million ACRF grant.

This additional $5 million grant considerably strengthens the research capabilities of the facility, enabling it to be a part of the revolutionary patient/clinical focus of the Kinghorn Cancer Centre. Chairman of the ACRF, Mr Tom Dery praised the new facility and the high quality research being conducted there. “Without doubt, and over a long period of time, the Garvan’s researchers, led by Professor Rob Sutherland, have been up there with the best in the world and we know this new facility will further strengthen their work. On that basis, we were thrilled to award them one of our largest-ever research grants and, in doing so, also acknowledge the magnificent contribution to our work made by the late Lady McMahon who served on our Board for 26 years”.

The ACRF Molecular Genetics facility will house next generation sequencing technology which gives scientists the capacity to carry out internationally competitive research in cancer genetics.

“The Centre has cancer specialists and researchers working together under one roof to find personalised solutions to each person’s cancer, by understanding each individual’s needs at a molecular level. The ability to understand the individual genetic profile of a cancer means it is possible to better determine its progress and which treatments will work most effectively. To achieve this next-generation sequencing, which will be carried out in the ACRF facility, is critical – allowing us to integrate genomic information with clinical decision making,” said Professor John Mattick, Executive Director, Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

“The ACRF’s grant has enabled us to equip the Kinghorn Cancer Centre with the state-of-the-art facilities needed to deliver personalised medicine approaches. For cancer patients this will mean earlier diagnosis, precision treatment and better outcomes following diagnosis,” said Professor Mattick.


Media enquiries should be directed to:

Dianne Lavender, Communications Manager, Garvan Research Foundation
Mobile: 0414 896 930 Email
Rebecca Hines, Communications Coordinator, Australian Cancer Research Foundation
Mobile: 0431 068 089



The Garvan Institute of Medical Research was founded in 1963. Initially a research department of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, it is now one of Australia’s largest medical research institutions with over 600 scientists, students and support staff. Garvan’s main research programs are: Cancer, Diabetes & Obesity, Immunology and Inflammation, Osteoporosis and Bone Biology and Neuroscience. Garvan’s mission is to make significant contributions to medical science that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health. The outcome of Garvan’s discoveries is the development of better methods of diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately, prevention of disease.



The Australian Cancer Research Foundation is the largest, private funding body for world-class cancer research in Australia. It is a national charity which provides up to $10 million in research grants every year, equipping Australia’s best scientists with efficient, collaborative laboratories and cutting-edge technologies. The ACRF gives every donation dollar it receives – 100% – to research that has the power to beat cancer: all types of cancer, at any stage of development.