Our research matrix


At Garvan, our research is organised in a matrix structure that includes Strategic Programs, Pillars and Strategic Scientific Platforms. Our research matrix is designed to enhance and promote collaboration across Garvan and beyond, and to support our researchers to conduct outstanding discovery research and translate it into life-changing impacts.


Research Matrix outlining Garvan's Research Pillars and Strategic Programs along with their respective leads


Strategic Programs

Our six Strategic Programs are our flagship strategies for impact. They bring together multiple Labs across Garvan, along with partners in other organisations. The Programs are actively focused on taking research discoveries all the way through to clinical impact, to improve health and change lives.

Read more about the Strategic Programs


The Programs are:

Rare Diseases – Accelerating genomic diagnosis of disease

Leads: A/Prof Jodie Ingles and A/Prof Owen Siggs

Complex Diseases – Unpacking complex disease, cell by cell

Leads: Prof Joseph Powell and A/Prof Robert Weatheritt

Precision Immunology – Powering up the immune system’s cells

Leads: A/Prof Elissa Deenick and Prof Tri Phan

Cancer Ecosystems – Targeting the dynamic cellular ecosystem in cancer

Leads: A/Prof Alex Swarbrick and Prof Paul Timpson

Cancer Precision Medicine – Precision medicine for cancer

Leads: A/Prof Christine Chaffer and A/Prof Marina Pajic

Skeletal Diseases – Overcoming the burden of skeletal disease

Leads: Prof Jacqueline Center and Prof Mike Rogers



Our five Pillars are the cross-cutting areas of science where Garvan aims to lead medical research globally.

Together, the Pillars provide the rich and dynamic scientific environment in which all Garvan’s research can flourish.


The Pillars are:

Genomic Science

Director: Prof Daniel MacArthur

Data Science

Director: A/Prof Sarah Kummerfeld

Cellular Science

Director: Prof Joseph Powell

Translation Science

Director: Prof Robert Brink

Clinical Science

Director: Prof Anthony Joshua


Scientific Platforms

Our five Scientific Platforms fulfil a crucial scientific enabling function for Garvan researchers and others. They provide advanced and rapidly evolving research technologies, with the expertise to support cutting-edge applications.

The Platforms work closely with the Pillars to enhance Garvan’s scientific and technological environment. They provide outstanding support that accelerates research and its translation to the clinic.


The Platforms are:


Head: David Murray

Data Science

Head: A/Prof Sarah Kummerfeld

Cellular Genomics

Head: Dominik Kaczorowski


Head TBD

Clinical Engagement & Translation

Head: Mary-Anne Young



Our Laboratories are the fundamental unit of research at Garvan, conducting outstanding research in their field of expertise.

Each Lab is aligned to a Pillar, although many conduct research across several Pillars.

Each Lab contributes to one or more of the Strategic Programs, as well as conducting research that is beyond the scope of the Programs.

Together Garvan’s Laboratory Heads form our Faculty.