WESFARMERS SUSTAINABILITY REPORT 2017

Wesfarmers' contribution to health and medical research

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Thanks to support from Wesfarmers, the Telethon Kids Institute has established a centre with the aim of preventing and improving the treatment of infectious diseases in children and adolescents.

Wesfarmers has supported organisations involved in medical research programs over a long period of time, because we believe investing in innovation in this area provides long-term benefits to the broader community.

Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research

The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is a world-class facility based in Perth, Western Australia. Its priority is to recruit and build internationally renowned, highly skilled research teams, working together with cutting edge technologies to develop more effective treatments and cures for common diseases in the community. Former Wesfarmers chairman, Harry Perkins AO, was instrumental in establishing the Institute, and was its inaugural chairman. Committing to Harry Perkins’ vision, Wesfarmers was a founding sponsor in 1998, and has continued to support the centre as a long-term partner.

In 2017, Professor Girish Dwivedi was appointed as the Perkins' inaugural Wesfarmers Chair in Cardiology - read more about Professor Dwivedi's appointment here.

Some of the Perkins' most significant recent breakthroughs include:

  • the discovery of the SLIRP gene, a regulator of hormone action in breast and prostate cancer;
  • identification of microRNA-7, a powerful inhibitor of cancer cell growth, specifically in liver, brain, head and neck and melanoma;
  • contributed to an international consortium that identified more than 40 genetic variants that affect the risk of someone developing type 1 diabetes.

Telethon Kids Institute

Infectious diseases are the most common reason for hospitalisation of young children in Western Australia, and the number one cause of death in children worldwide.

Thanks to support from Wesfarmers, the Telethon Kids Institute has established a centre with the aim of preventing and improving the treatment of infectious diseases in children and adolescents.

The Wesfarmers Centre of Vaccines and Infectious Diseases at the Telethon Kids Institute was established in 2014, and it has quickly become a national leader in paediatric infectious diseases research. Its mission is to find and deliver on better ways to prevent and treat infections in children, especially those who are vulnerable to much higher rates of serious infection than the rest of the population.

In 2017, based on the success of the Institute's programs Wesfarmers agreed to a new four-year partnership, increasing its contribution to $6 million.

More information about Wesfarmers partnership with Telethon Kids Institute can be found here

Australian Alzheimer's Research Foundation

Wesfarmers has supported the Australian Alzheimer's Research Foundation since 2005, and this year agreed to extend the partnership for another three years.

The Australian Alzheimer's Foundation collaborates as part of an international research effort to find an early diagnosis, develop lifestyle interventions to delay the onset of symptoms, and work to develop better treatments for those already diagnosed with this disease.