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Research Explained

Research Explained

Research is a long and expensive process, and many people wonder: why isn't there a treatment for my loved one right now?

We wish it were instantaneous and easy. But doing research means we don't have all the answers yet—we're looking for them. Sometimes research means looking for the right questions to ask.

What's certain is that major jumps in technology and understanding do happen, and these jumps propel our research forward. Continuous research is the only way to make a jump towards a cure. We've got to be in it to win it.

CMRI conducts both basic science research and medical research.

This is the foundation for understanding everything. Thanks to basic science, we know how blood cells carry oxygen so we can breathe; we know that DNA has all the information needed to make an entire person; and we know how to transform an unwanted infectious virus into a cure for an inherited disease.

'Basic' clearly doesn't mean unimportant.

In fact, basic science research is the crucial first step towards understanding how the body works, what goes wrong in diseases like cancer, and how to fix it. Today's medicines and tomorrow's revolutionary new treatments depend upon it.

While all research relies on basic science, CMRI's research has the goal of helping to improve the health and wellbeing of people, especially children. That means it is often classified as 'medical research'.

Much of CMRI's research over the last 65 years has become a part of standard medical practice (see Our History and Achievements).

What's more, we have many research programs ongoing right now that have advanced beyond discovering the crucial basics and are producing tangible benefits:

  • ProCan is a world first approach to transforming how cancer is diagnosed and treated using big data. This program has already created the world's largest database of cancer and is on track towards being able to identify the best treatment option for each individual patient.
  • Our drug development programs in collaboration with the University of Newcastle are perfecting new and better treatments for cancer, epilepsy and other diseases.
  • Our Gene Therapy team (working with The Children's Hospital at Westmead), conducted the first ever gene therapy clinical trial to cure a genetic disease in Australia. They and our Translational Vectorology team have several clinical trials underway internationally to help children with rare diseases such as OTC deficiency and CTNNB1 syndrome.
  • Our Telomere Analysis Centre can help clinicians better diagnosis telomere-related diseases, like DKC, which can cut short the lives of children as young as 6-years-old. And our telomere research teams are advancing basic and translational research that promises to provide new and better cancer treatments for all types of cancer, with fewer side effects.