The Rebecca Wilson Fellowship in Breast Cancer Research launches

Congratulations Dr Christine Chaffer, recipient of the Rebecca Wilson Fellowship in Breast Cancer Research.

Dr Christine Chaffer

Media Release: 08 February 2017

The Rebecca Wilson Fellowship in Breast Cancer Research has been awarded to Dr Christine Chaffer at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Funded by the NELUNE Foundation, the Fellowship will support a breast cancer researcher at the Garvan Institute and celebrates the life of the NELUNE Foundation’s dear friend the late Rebecca Wilson.

Dr Christine Chaffer is new to Garvan. Having completed her PhD training at the University of Melbourne and postdoctoral work at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Boston, Christine will return to Australia as the inaugural recipient of the Rebecca Wilson Fellowship in Breast Cancer Research.

“I am very grateful to the NELUNE Foundation, and honoured to receive an award celebrating the life of someone as inspiring as Rebecca Wilson. It is also encouraging to see such philanthropic support for medical research in Australia.

“My research focuses on how aggressive cancer cells spread to other organs and evade chemotherapy.”

“There are currently few treatment options for patients who suffer from aggressive breast cancer. My goal is to help reverse that and ultimately contribute to better outcomes for patients.” said Dr Chaffer

The NELUNE Foundation makes a difference in the lives of those who have been affected by cancer. The Fellowship is the first time the NELUNE Foundation has directly supported medical research.

“We’re honoured to be able to help facilitate this wonderful initiative and to be part of a very special legacy in memory of our dear friend Bec. It is wonderful that Christine will be within the same building collaborating with the team that treated Bec.

“Christine is a brave and outcome-driven young woman who, like Bec, has worked very hard to balance professional and personal demands, with great success. While they didn’t have the opportunity to meet, I am confident Bec would be thrilled with our choice of recipient,” said NELUNE Foundation co-founders Ms Anna Guillan & Ms Nelune Rajapakse.

Executive Director of the Garvan Institute, Professor John Mattick, says philanthropic investment in scientific fellowships is vital to provide a stable platform for investigative researchers.

“Fellowships like the Rebecca Wilson Fellowship in Breast Cancer Research provide essential support and security for our biggest asset, gifted scientists like Dr Chaffer. This support gives researchers the stability to be bold in their objectives and to have time to translate their findings into better clinical care.

“The Garvan Institute is privileged to be the home of the Rebecca Wilson Fellowship and honoured to be involved in its legacy. We’re most grateful to the NELUNE Foundation and its supporters for investing in Garvan’s research and ultimately, helping bring Dr Chaffer to Garvan,” said Professor Mattick.

To contribute to the Rebecca Wilson Fellowship in Breast Cancer Research at the Garvan Institute visit



Learn more about breast cancer:

On 14 February, Garvan is hosting a free Community Breast Cancer Research Update, for more information and to register to attend, visit

Media contact:

Anna Greenhalgh

Senior Communications Coordinator  |  0437 282 467  |  02 9295 8126


Related People

Related Diseases