News & events

Healthy Blood Donor Scheme

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Most people are familiar with the idea of donating blood to help people who need life-saving transfusions or regular blood products, but what you might not know is that you can also donate blood for medical research.

Donating blood for research allows us to compare white blood cells (immune cells) of healthy people to those from people with disease. To do this we need blood samples from healthy donors.

The CPI is proud to announce the commencement of the Healthy Blood Donor Scheme, which allows eligible healthy people in the wider community to donate blood that will directly contribute to our research.

If you would like more information please have a look at the Fact Sheet or contact us at cpi.info@anu.edu.au

Current locations for donations (by prior arrangement) are:

ACT Health to provide funding for Canberra Clinical Genetics service

Thursday, March 31, 2016
ANU will strengthen its role as a leading centre for personalised medicine following the announcement of $7.3 million in funding from the ACT Government to set up a new centre, Canberra Clinical Genomics.

Canberra Clinical Genomics will be a partnership between ANU and ACT Health and will work to cure patients with complex diseases by sequencing their genome and finding treatments that are personalised to their condition.

The Director of the Centre, Professor Matthew Cook, from the ANU Medical School and The John Curtin School of Medical Research, said the new centre would make a real difference to patient lives.

"This enables doctors and researchers to collaborate to implement what is truly 21st Century medicine," Professor Cook said.

The Elizabeth Greene PhD Scholarship

Monday, March 21, 2016
The Centre for Personalised Immunology has begun the search for a candidate for the newly established Elizabeth Greene Scholarship.

First announced by the ANU Vice Chancellor last December, The Elizabeth Greene PhD Scholarship is a full time three year full fee waiver scholarship for international students, and will encourage research into understanding systemic autoimmune diseases, of which Lupus is the prototype.

The Scholarship has been established through the generosity of Mr Peter Yates and his family, in memory of Ms Elizabeth Greene.

Rare Disease Day 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The CPI and the Australian Phenomics Facility held a morning tea at the John Curtin School for Medical Research, ANU, Canberra on 29 February 2016 to show our support for Rare Disease Day.

“A rare disease is any disorder or condition that is a life-threatening or chronically debilitating disease, which is statistically rare. There are more than 8,000 rare diseases. Many have no formal title and are difficult to diagnose. Collectively, rare diseases are surprisingly common affecting an estimated 6-8% of the Australian population.” (Extract from Rare Voices Australia Fact Sheet)

This year's theme was Patient Voice recognising the crucial role that patients play in voicing their needs and in instigating change that improves their lives and the lives of their families and carers.

Rare Disease Day amplifies the voice of rare disease patients to that they are heard all over the world.

All proceeds raised were donated to Rare Voices Australia.

Lab+Life Scientist Feature Article

Monday, February 29, 2016

You can read about our research on finding the genetic causes of lupus and the search for better treatments in the feature article in the January issue of Lab+Life Scientist.

The article highlights CPI’s ability to prove genetic variants identified through whole exome sequencing, are the cause of a person’s immunological disease. This causal link would not be possible without the use of CRISPR/Cas9 (pronounced “crisper cas nine”) gene technology to generate unique mouse models of disease.

Read the full feature article through the Isuu website.

If you want to read more about the patient with a mutation in the TREX1 gene that was published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Rare Disease Day Lecture

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

We are pleased to announce our Co-Director, Professor Matthew Cook will be presenting a lecture on 'Rare Diseases - Resilience and Rosetta Stones' as part of ANU's John Curtin School fo Medical Research Director's 'Health through Discovery' Public Lecture Series coinciding with Rare Disease Day 2016.

Patients with rare diseases often endure years of uncertainty about their diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Remarkably, when answers eventually come, they sometimes prove to be informative not only for the individual patient, but for many. To understand how this happens, we need to know the differences between rare diseases and more common ones. Contemporary medicine is better placed to elucidate the causes of rare diseases than ever before.

In this lecture, Professor Cook will discuss how information revealed by insights into rare diseases can have large implications for human health.

This lecture is free and open to the public.

When: Monday 29 February, 5:30pm - 6:15pm, followed by light refreshments

CPI Awarded FOCIS Center of Excellence

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The CPI’s application to become a FOCIS Center of Excellence (FCE) was approved and is the only Australian-based FCE.

“Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) exists to improve human health through immunology by fostering interdisciplinary approaches to both understand and treat immune-based diseases. Now in its twelfth year of existence, FOCIS has 53 Member Societies, representing roughly 65,000 clinician scientists. A Federation of this size provides a voice for clinical immunologists and ultimately strives to improve patient care.”

Being an FCE provides an opportunity to build an interdisciplinary translational immunology community. Moreover, the FCE community offers an effective training environment for translational researchers and clinicians by promoting innovation and developing a network for future initiatives.

CPI co-Director Professor Carola Vinuesa will co-Chair the “Next-Gen Genetics” session at the FOCIS Annual meeting in Boston in June, 2016.

IDFA and CPI present Patient Information Day at JCSMR

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Immune Deficiencies Foundation Australia (IDFA) with the Centre for Personalised Immunology, ANU and ACT Health held a patient information afternoon at the John Curtin School for Medical Research. Speakers included Ms Christine Jeffrey, Associate Professor David Fulcher, Professor Matthew Cook, Mr Michael Stone, Ms Anastasia Wilson and Mr Adam Friedrich. The event was well attended and participants heard about the role of IDFA in patient support; the science behind the causes of immunodeficiencies; and current strategies in genomic medicine to further understand and treat these diseases. After the tea break, changes to national immune globulin (Ig) supply, subcutaneuous immune globulin (SCIg) treatment and the patient experience were discussed.

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