Hope Research team leaders
Professor Chris Goodnow
Professor Chris Goodnow olds the Bill and Patricia Ritchie Foundation Chair and is an NHMRC Australia Fellow, Head of the Immunogenomics lab and Deputy Director at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He is particularly recognised for research using mouse molecular genetics that has illuminated how the body’s immune system learns to distinguish “self” from “not-self” so that it does not attack our own body or cause cancer while fighting off infections.
Professor Goodnow trained in veterinary medicine and surgery, immunochemistry, and immunology at the University of Sydney and in molecular biology at Stanford University. After doctoral studies at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne and at Sydney University, he joined the faculty of Stanford University Medical School and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 1990. To pioneer large-scale genetic analysis of the immune system, he joined the faculty at the Australian National University in 1997 as Professor and Director of the Medical Genome Centre, leading its development into a Major National Research Facility, the Australian Phenomics Facility. In 2015 Chris joined the Garvan Institute to translate genomic analysis of the human immune system into understanding the cause and treatment of immune disorders.
Dr Dan Suan
Dr Dan Suan grew up in Perth and studied medicine at UWA before moving to Sydney to train as an Immunologist at Westmead Hospital and St Vincent's Hospital. After this, he completed his PhD in 2015 in the lab of Professor Rob Brink at Garvan, using transgenic mouse models to investigate memory B cell and plasma cell differentiation in the germinal centre response, the mechanism by which the human immune system forms antibodies and long-lived memory against infection and vaccination.
Dan was appointed as a Staff Specialist in Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology at Westmead Hospital in 2015, where he cares for patients with a wide range of immune conditions, including autoimmune diseases, allergies, immunodeficiencies and HIV infection. Dan has a longstanding interest and commitment to teaching and training, and is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at both the University of Sydney and UNSW. He remained part-time at Garvan to continue his research training and establish a genomics program to study the cause of human autoimmune disorders under the supervision of Professor Chris Goodnow.
Senior Research Officer
Senior Research Assistant
Bioinformatics Research Officer
The philanthropic support of The Bill and Patricia Ritchie Foundation has been a key driver in establishing Hope Research.
For Julia Ritchie and her sister Ruth, Hope Research had instant appeal. “Somebody in your family has, or will have, a mystery disease with no answer,” Ruth says. “When that happens, you might disappear down expensive, well-meaning dead ends – I’ve stopped just short of seeking out witch doctors – or you can support a coordinated, comprehensive study that has the potential to unlock the mystery of all autoimmune diseases, not just the unpronounceable, incomprehensive monstrosity of a thing that has found its way into your life.”
In addition to getting Hope Research off the ground, this new undertaking from The Bill and Patricia Ritchie Foundation aims to pave the way for the additional community funding needed to realise the project’s promise. Ruth says: “We hope that our backing will encourage other people who have family and friends who live with autoimmune diseases to follow our example and participate in Garvan’s ground-breaking research.”