Strategic plan

Health from discovery

plan_primaryimage.pngGarvan’s purpose is to make medical research discoveries that realise our vision of a future where everyone lives a longer, healthier life.

Garvan will achieve this goal by bringing patients and the best medical researchers together – locally, nationally and globally. Working across disciplines, we will harness all the information encoded in our genome to discover ways to better predict, prevent and treat cancer and chronic diseases.

Interdigitated research themes and world-leading faculty

Garvan will make discoveries that open paths to explain, treat and prevent diseases that appear intractable today, focussing in four interdigitated research themes:  medical genomics, epigenetics, and cellular genomics;  cancer;  diseases of immunity & inflammation;  and diseases of ageing affecting bone, brain and metabolism.

Garvan’s Faculty will be recognised international leaders of bold research teams. They will take advantage of the critical mass at the intersection of Garvan’s research themes, world-class technical facilities, and the freedom of five year rolling support to focus full-time on research.

Outstanding facilities

Key technical facilities will enable Garvan’s faculty to excel, notably those for DNA sequence analysis, advanced microscopy, preclinical animal models and CRISPR genome editing.

Data-intensive computation has become the distinguishing feature of the new era of precision medicine research. The driver is a transition from standard analogue measures of biomedical samples to new digital measurements of an infinite array of molecular barcodes, made possible by extraordinary technical advances in massively parallel DNA sequencing. Garvan needs to foster facilities and partnerships in data intensive computation, statistics, visualisation and artificial intelligence/machine learning, focussed on harnessing these molecular barcodes.

Strategic partnerships and centres

These are key to Garvan achieving these goals.

Garvan will expand its partnership with St Vincent’s Hospital in The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, and expand its partnership with other cancer centres and clinical trials through the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Program.

Through the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Garvan will expand its partnerships with the genetics community, the Australian Genomics Health Alliance, and the Genomics Health Futures Mission. A key goal is to close the gap between the number of people who receive a genomic test and the number whose health is improved as a result.

Through the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics, and the UNSW Cellular Genomics Futures Institute, Garvan will bridge the information gulf between genomic DNA sequence information and standard clinical measures of tissue and organ pathology.

Patients, clinical trial cohorts and population cohorts must be at the centre of Garvan’s research, framing unmet needs as the market pull to focus Garvan’s science, and providing the final measure of success. Since Garvan is not a clinical service provider, connecting Garvan’s science with patient and population cohorts will require investment in strategic partnerships with organisations that provide clinical services, run clinical trials, and organise longitudinal or cross-sectional population cohorts. Current priorities include the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Program, the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative, the Australian Parkinson’s Mission, the ASPREE trial & 45 and up cohort, the Clinical Immunogenomics Research Consortium of Australasia, the HOPE study of 44 autoimmune diseases, the Dubbo Osteoporosis study, and the Australian Genomics Health Alliance & Genomics Health Futures Mission Flagships.

To translate discoveries into health benefit, Garvan needs to foster the development of diagnostic tests and drugs. Garvan’s expertise in genomics technologies and human antibody engineering provide the strongest current base for these initiatives.