Garvan Institute of Medical Research

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Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Garvan Institute of Medical Research.png
MottoBreakthrough medical research[citation needed]
Founder(s)Sisters of Charity
Established1963; 60 years ago (1963)
MissionMedical research
DirectorProfessor Chris Goodnow FAA, FRS
FacultyUniversity of New South Wales
Adjunct facultySt Vincent's Hospital, Sydney
Staffapprox. 750
Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
, , ,

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is an Australian biomedical research institute located in Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales. Founded in 1963 by the Sisters of Charity as a research department of St Vincent's Hospital, it is now one of Australia's largest medical research institutions, with approximately 750 scientists, students and support staff. The executive director of the institute since 2018 is Professor Chris Goodnow FAA, FRS.

In 2014 the institute became one of only three organisations in the world – and the only one outside the United States[1] – able to sequence the human genome at a base cost below US$1,000 each (the $1,000 genome) when it purchased the next generation of genome sequencing equipment, which is capable of sequencing 350 genomes a week (18,000 a year).[2]


Original Garvan Institute building, opened in 1963.

Funds for its establishment were provided by a centenary hospital appeal by the Sisters of Charity for St Vincent's Hospital. Helen Mills, the largest donor, asked for the centre to be named after her father James Patrick Garvan, a distinguished New South Wales parliamentarian and business leader.[3]

The current Garvan Institute building, completed in 1997, with the Kinghorn Cancer Centre to the left

The Kinghorn Cancer Centre, a A$100 million joint venture between Garvan and St Vincent's Hospital, was opened on 28 August 2012 by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.[4] The centre is named after the Kinghorn Foundation, one of the centre's main benefactors.[5] The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics (KCCG) was also established in 2012, with a commitment of A$9 million in funding from the Kinghorn Foundation. KCCG is Australia's leading medical research institute in medical genomics and informatics that translates into genome-based personalised medicine. The functions of the KCCG include high quality 'next generation' genome sequencing and diagnostic services.[6] In 2014 it was announced that the Garvan Institute would be one of the world's first organisations to purchase the next generation of genome sequencing equipment – to be located in the KCCG – capable of sequencing 350 genomes a week (18,000 a year) at a base cost below US$1,000 each[7][8]


Former Executive Director, Professor John Mattick, pictured in 2014.
Order Incumbent Start date End date Time in office Notes
1966 1969 2–3 years
2 Leslie Lazarus 1969 1990 20–21 years
3 John Shine 1990 2012 21–22 years
4 John Mattick 2012 31 May 2018 (2018-05-31) 5–6 years
5 Chris Goodnow 1 June 2018 (2018-06-01) incumbent 4 years, 241 days

Other notable staff[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Illumina Introduces the HiSeq X(TM) Ten Sequencing System". Press Release. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  2. ^ Herper, Matthew. "The $1,000 Genome Arrives -- For Real, This Time". magazine. Forbes. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Garvan, James Patrick (1843–1896)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  4. ^ "PM opens new Sydney cancer centre". News Website. 9MSN. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  5. ^ Turner, Brook. "No-regrets Kinghorn gives away $300m". News Website. Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  6. ^ "The Kinghorn Foundation - Medical Research". Corporate Website. Kinghorn Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Australians can map their genomes for $1,000 after institute buys world-first machine". News Website. ABC. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  8. ^ Medew, Julia (15 January 2014). "Australian researchers hail new cost-effective gene sequencing machine". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 February 2014.

External links[edit]