In Memory of Alan Harvey

Monday, August 19, 2019

Pictured: Alan Harvey and his wife, Bev. 

The 19th August 2019 marks 10 years since Alan Harvey passed away. In his memory, his family started the Alan Harvey CVID Research Endowment.

In a message from Bev, Alan’s wife, to our community she said:

Today marks ten years since my husband Alan passed away. When Al died in 2009 at the age of 57, besides our family’s heartfelt personal loss, there was a deep sense of the premature loss to the community of his intellect, Forestry knowledge and personal qualities of courage, strength, perseverance and achievement. In his remembrance we initiated the Alan Harvey CVID Research Endowment at ANU, his old uni, to provide a lasting legacy for research to help ensure advances in treatment for Common Variable Immune Deficiency and other genetic autoimmune diseases. The Endowment is now helping to support a PhD student concentrating in this field.

To mark ten years since Al’s passing, on behalf of the research team we are seeking additional donations to continue this work. If you are able to help us replenish the Endowment you may do so online via the Alan Harvey CVID donation page or call the ANU Donor Relations team on (02) 6125 2670.

Another way of helping CVID patients is to regularly donate blood or plasma via the Red Cross collection centres, as patients require regular infusions of Immunoglobulin.

The results achieved by Professor Cook’s team have helped many people and warmed our hearts. Thank you to the friends, colleagues, relatives, patients and strangers who are continuing to join with us in supporting this effort financially. Establishing the Endowment and watching the results have also helped to ease our personal loss, and ensure Al’s memory lives on.

The Endowment was established in memory of ANU alumnus Alan Harvey, who suffered from CVID, a rare disease that leaves your body defenceless against infections due to an inability to develop and mature cells in the immune system.

Donors to the Alan Harvey CVID Research Endowment are supporting important research into the human immune system that offers valuable information on diseases such as Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID).

Professor Matthew Cook is the group leader of the Cook Group at the John Curtin School of Medical Research and a co-director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology (CPI) at ANU. Professor Cook says that 2018 has seen considerable progress in CVID research at CPI.

"Our sequencing program is running very efficiently now and we have established a national network under the umbrella of the Australian Genome Health Alliance, which operates in parallel with CPI."

"Almost 100 families have entered this program during 2018. We are able to make a new diagnosis about 25 per cent of the time because patients carry genetic variants that we already know about. For the other 75 per cent, we proceed to further research to try and discover new mechanisms of antibody deficiency," said Professor Cook.