QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute

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QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Logo of the QIMR.png
Motto Better health through medical research
Established 1 November 1945; 70 years ago (1945-11-01)
Mission Medical research
Focus Cancer; infectious diseases; mental health disorders
Chairman Dr Doug McTaggart
Director and CEO Professor Frank Gannon
Faculty University of Queensland
Adjunct faculty Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
Staff 600 (2015)[1]:9
Budget A$98 million (2015)[1]:59
Formerly called Queensland Institute of Medical Research
Location 300 Herston Road, Herston, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Website www.qimrberghofer.edu.au

The QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (QIMR Berghofer) is an Australian medical research institute located in Herston, Brisbane, in the state of Queensland. QIMR was established in 1945 by the Government of Queensland through the enactment of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research Act 1945 (Qld). Previously known as the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), the original purpose of the Institute was to further the study of tropical diseases in North Queensland. The current Director is Professor Frank Gannon.


QIMR Berghofer Central at Herston, Brisbane.

QIMR Berghofer aims to improve the health and well-being of all people by developing new methods of detection, better treatments and prevention strategies. This is achieved through fundamental research, drug development and clinical trials.

QIMR Berghofer has over 600 scientists, students and staff in three research programs, five departments and a support division.


QIMR Berghofer was created by an Act of Queensland State Parliament in 1945 from a report by Edward Derrick that recommended a permanent research facility to be set up to investigate diseases unique to the climate of Queensland. QIMR Berghofer began operations in 1947 with a staff of seven in a disused World War II US Army hut in Victoria Park, Brisbane. This temporary accommodation housed the Institute for the next 30 years.

From 1951 to 1965, at a field station in North Queensland, QIMR Berghofer researchers investigated outbreaks of leptospirosis, scrub typhus, dengue and other tropical fevers. Researchers also studied viruses in Queensland’s animals.

In 1960, QIMR Berghofer scientists isolated Murray Valley encephalitis virus from mosquitoes, which paved the way for discovery of other arboviruses like Ross River virus in 1963. During the 1960s, QIMR Berghofer established an oncology section to investigate cancer-causing viruses. One project researched cancer cells taken from Burkitt's lymphoma patients in Papua New Guinea, and found they were infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). EBV is now known to cause many types of leukaemias and lymphomas. Eight years later, this same virus was found to immortalise white blood cells; a discovery that revolutionised research of these immune cells and their DNA.

In 1977, QIMR Berghofer relocated to new laboratories in the grounds of the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital at Herston.

In 1988, the Queensland Government amended the QIMR Act to make the institute a statutory authority. The Queensland Premier at the time, Mike Ahern, secured $30 million to fund a new building for QIMR Berghofer’s increasing staff. The new building was officially opened in 1991, and was named the Bancroft Centre, as a memorial to the family who contributed to QIMR Berghofer’s early history.

In 1997, a philanthropic donation of $20 million was matched by both the federal and state governments, which has used to build the Cancer Research Centre, named after contributor Clive Berghofer.

In 2002, Q-Pharm Pty Limited became operational at the QIMR Berghofer Cancer Research Centre. Q-Pharm Pty Ltd is owned by QIMR Berghofer, and is a Phase I clinical trials facility to test potential new therapeutic products on humans. The same year, a new Indigenous Health Research Program was initiated to focus on improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and work in collaboration with Indigenous communities.

In August 2013, QIMR was renamed QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute after Clive Berghofer AM donated $50.1 million to the Institute.


The QIMR Berghofer logo is composed of three superimposed hexagons, which represent interlocking benzene rings. Benzene rings are a molecular structure of carbon, the basis for all life on earth.

QIMR Berghofer came together with Children’s Health Queensland, Mater Health Services, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Metro South Health, Queensland University of Technology, The University of Queensland and the Translational Research Institute to form Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners, Queensland's first academic health science system.


The Institute’s research includes:


The Institute is located at 300 Herston Rd, Herston, Brisbane, Australia.

QIMR Berghofer is housed in three buildings (the Bancroft Centre, the Clive Berghofer Cancer Research Centre and QIMR Berghofer Central at Herston, Brisbane, Queensland adjacent to the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and The University of Queensland Medical School.

Key people[edit]


Order Incumbent Start date End date Time in office Notes
1 Ian Murray Mackerras 2 June 1947 (1947-06-02) 1961 13–14 years [2]
2 Edward Derrick 1961 1966 13–14 years [3]
3 Ralph Doherty 1966 1978 11–12 years
4 Chev Kidson 1978 1990 11–12 years
5 Lawrie Powell 1990 2000 9–10 years
6 Michael F. Good AO 2000 June 2010 (2010-06) 9–10 years [4][5]
7 Frank Gannon January 2011 (2011-01) incumbent 5 years, 296 days [6]

Other key people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Annual Review" (PDF). QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. 2015. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Williams, Lesley. "Mackerras, Ian Murray (1898–1980)" (published first in hardcopy 2000). Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "History". QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  4. ^ "Governor farewells Director Michael Good" (Press release). QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. 2 January 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  5. ^ "QIMR Director selected as a 2010 Queensland Great" (Press release). QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
  6. ^ "Our director". QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2016. 

External links[edit]