Newsletters

Top plastic surgeon and stem cell researcher calls GMRI cancer research “extraordinary”

Dr Swee Tan, Professor Wayne Morrison, Mayor Justin Lester, Chair Paul Baines

In August the GMRI was honoured to host top plastic surgeon and stem cell researcher, Professor Wayne Morrison, as part of the GMRI Eminent Speakers’ Programme.

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GMRI to host public lecture by Harvard Medical School expert in vascular birthmarks

Associate Professor Arin Greene

The GMRI is pleased to host a further public lecture in December as part of the GMRI Eminent Speakers’ Programme.

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Capital & Coast District Health Board and the GMRI team up on glioblastoma research

CCDHB neurosurgeon and GMRI Honorary Research Associate, Dr Agadha Wickremesekera

Researchers from the GMRI and neurosurgeons from Capital & Coast DHB have joined forces to tackle glioblastoma (GB), the most aggressive primary cancer of the brain.

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Sharing our research and plans with funders and supporters

Dr Swee Tan, PHARMAC communications manager Kerri Osborne and CEO Steffan Crausaz, Chair Paul Baines

During the past few months the GMRI has welcomed a number of VIP’s to our Newtown laboratories, including Steffan Crausaz, CEO of PHARMAC, CEO of the Health Research Council, Professor Kathryn McPherson, and Singapore-based businessman and innovator Robert Yap.  

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Generous donation from Plimmerton Rotary Club will “supercharge” stem cell research

Club President Graeme Blick, Dr Swee Tan and Dr Tinte Itinteang

In August, GMRI Executive Director Dr Swee Tan and Chief Scientific Officer Dr Tinte Itinteang were guests of the Plimmerton Rotary Club, where they were presented with a significant donation for our cancer stem cell research.

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GMRI scientists give keynote addresses at the 10th International Conference on Cancer Stem Cells and Oncology Research

Executive Director Dr Swee Tan and Chief Scientific Officer Dr Tinte Itinteang recently returned from London where they delivered two keynote addresses at the 10th International Conference on Cancer Stem Cells and Oncology Research.

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GMRI to host lecture by top Australian plastic surgeon and stem cell researcher

Professor Wayne Morrison

The GMRI is pleased to announce that Australian Professor Wayne Morrison will be giving a public lecture in Wellington as part of the GMRI Eminent Speakers’ Programme.

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College students raise funds for glioblastoma research

From left: Dr Tinte Itinteang, Olivia Watson, Phoebe Ellis, Dr Agadha Wickremesekera, Dr Paul Davis

Staff at the GMRI received a special visit this month from Queen Margaret College student Phoebe Ellis, who has raised close to $1000 towards the GMRI’s glioblastoma (GB) research programme.

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GMRI scientists lead the way in solving crippling hand disease

Sabrina Koh,
Deane Endowment Trust
sponsored summer student

People suffering from Dupuytren’s disease could ultimately regain the function of their hands and quality of life, thanks to the international award winning work of the GMRI.

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Sir Harold Gillies’s pioneering work recognised as part of Passchendaele commemorations

Sir Harold Gillies

The pioneering work of Sir Harold Gillies, whom the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute is co-named after, has been recognised by the UK’s Daily Mail as part of the commemorations of the battle of Passchendaele.

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GMRI joins social media

The GMRI is making improvements in how we communicate with our friends and supporters, by joining Facebook and Twitter.

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Recent publications in peer-reviewed journals

The GMRI’s research team is actively engaged in publishing articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

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GMRI scientists to present at the International Stem Cell Conference

Dr Swee Tan, Executive Director, and Dr Tinte Itinteang, Chief Scientific Officer, will be attending and presenting at the 10th International Conference on Cancer Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine in London, to be held in June.

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Justin Lester, Wellington City Mayor, visits the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute

From left: Dr Swee Tan, Mayor Justin Lester and GMRI Chair, Paul Baines

I was delighted to visit Dr Swee Tan, Paul Baines and the team at the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute in February.

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Microscope a key contributor to Gillies McIndoe Research Institute research programme

A confocal microscopic image of tongue cancer showing cancer stem cells with their nuclei (in blue) staining red and their cell membranes outlined in green (left), taken with the GMRI confocal microscope (right)

Talk of an FV1200 Olympus ‘laser’ confocal microscope with live cell imaging means nothing to most people – but to the GMRI it’s a prized possession which has assisted with many scientific breakthroughs.

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Summaries of recent Gillies McIndoe Research Institute journal publications

The GMRI’s research team is actively engaged in publishing articles in peer-reviewed medical science journals. This is an important aspect of the research programme as it promotes an international awareness of significant findings by the GMRI and provides a vital forum for collaborative exchange, critique and review. To view summaries of some recent publications please click here.

 

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Andrew Blair joins the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute Board

Andrew Blair

The chair of the GMRI, Paul Baines, says he’s very pleased that Andrew Blair, the chair of Capital & Coast District Health Board and Hutt Valley District Health Board, has accepted an invitation to join the GMRI’s Board.

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Former Gillies McIndoe Research Institute students’ success

Ranui Baillie (left) and Lucy Sulzberger

The GMRI is helping to produce a new generation of high achievers in the medical research field.

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Collaborative project on effective drug delivery by nanotechnology receives $1m Government grant

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From left to right: Dr Tinte Itinteang, Dr Swee Tan, Dr Eng Tan, Sean Mackay, and Dr Paul Davis

The Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI) is helping to develop a smart drug delivery system that will see medications delivered directly through the skin rather than in pill form or as an injection.

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GMRI research potentially life-changing, says Wellington neurosurgeon

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Dr Agadha Wickremesekera

People with brain cancer could have better chances of survival thanks to preliminary research the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI) has conducted into cancer stem cells in brain tumours, says Dr Agadha Wickremesekera, a neurosurgeon at the Wellington Regional Hospital and an honorary research associate of the GMRI.

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Aspiring to achieve an effective treatment for Dupuytren’s disease

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Dr Jim Armstrong

Hundreds of New Zealanders suffering from Dupuytren’s disease could ultimately regain the function of their hands and live normal lives, thanks to the work of the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI).

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The GMRI lays foundation blocks for budding researchers

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Former GMRI summer students, Nicholas On (left) and Sabrina Koh

Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI) summer students Sabrina Koh and Nicholas On have been working on medical research that could have an impact on millions of people world-wide.

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Publishing research is no small achievement

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Former GMRI summer
student Chelsea Grant

It’s not every day a 22-year-old has their research findings featured in a leading international publication, the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

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GMRI honours ‘shapers of lives’

Lovie family

Dr Barbara Lovie (right), widow of the late Dr Max Lovie, commemorates the unveiling of his portrait with their children James, Sarah, Delisa and Caroline, and Dr Swee Tan

ackland family

Bill Ackland (left), widower of the late Christina (Tina) Ackland, celebrates the unveiling of her portrait with children James and Jane, and Dr Swee Tan

The eminent late plastic surgeon Dr Max Lovie and highly-regarded plastic surgery nurse, Christina (Tina) Ackland, whose work impacted on thousands of people, were honoured at the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI) recently.

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GMRI advances in vascular birthmarks showcased at international conference

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Dr Tinte Itinteang

Two years of hard work at the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI) was presented recently on the world stage at the 21st International Workshop on Vascular Anomalies.

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GMRI files a patent relating to vascular birthmarks

venous malformation

A six-year old girl with venous malformation affecting the face

The Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI) is planting its “stake in the ground” in relation to its work on vascular birthmarks.

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GMRI student research ‘far-reaching’

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Sam Siljee

Emily Kean

Emily Keane

The Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI) has demonstrated that supporting budding science and medical researchers can achieve significant benefits.

Sam Siljee and Emily Keane are two of those success stories; they have recently co-authored a research paper which Sam says “is far-reaching in terms of the understanding of venous malformation”.

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Summer student on the home stretch to being published

Max Blackwell

Max Blackwell

Max Blackwell enjoyed his first stint as a Gillies McIndoe Research Institute summer student so much that he applied for a second time.

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Graham Langridge, founding board member, honoured

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Former GMF board member, Graham Langridge

The Gillies McIndoe Research Institute has honoured the late Graham Langridge, a long-time supporter and board member of the Gillies McIndoe Foundation (GMF), which established the GMRI, by establishing a scholarship to support PhD students.

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Summer students experience “a different world” at the GMRI

Students

From the left, Elysia Tan, Sam Siljee, Therese Featherston, Nicholas On, Sabrina Koh, Helen Yu

An exceptional group of university students has participated in the 2015/16 Gillies McIndoe Research Institute’s summer student programme, sponsored by the Deane Endowment Trust.

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GMRI researchers discover process to treat excessive scarring

keloid copy

Keloid scar affecting a child following burns injury

Fibrotic conditions, characterised by excessive bodily scar formation, affecting various organ systems, currently do not have satisfactory treatment.

But that could be a thing of the past thanks to researchers at the GMRI.

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Medical pioneers honoured at the GMRI

Gillies and McIndoe function

A number of special guests, including the Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr Jonathan Coleman, attended the Sir Harold Delf Gillies and Sir Archibald McIndoe portrait unveiling

The ground-breaking work of internationally-recognised New Zealanders and pioneers of plastic surgery, Sir Harold Delf Gillies and Sir Archibald McIndoe, was recognised at a function hosted by the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute, at which the Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr Jonathan Coleman, unveiled specially-prepared portraits of the two men.

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Roger Donaldson to direct movie about Sir Archibald McIndoe

Roger Donaldson

The Guinea Pig Club director, Roger Donaldson

The life and work of pioneering plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe is to be made into a movie.

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Leading US medical researchers hosted by the GMRI

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From left: Dr Paul Davis, Professor Martin Friedlander, Professor Sheila Friedlander, Dr Swee Tan, and Dr Tinte Itinteang

In October members of Wellington’s medical and scientific community and the public attended lectures by two world-renowned American biomedical researchers, courtesy of the GMRI.

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Strawberry birthmark research success continues

GMRI Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Dr Jonathan Dunne

The GMRI’s latest strawberry birthmark research was recently presented at the Human Proteome Organisation World Congress in Vancouver.

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Assault victim meets the surgeon who rebuilt his face

Peter Fisher visit

From left to right: Brian Fisher, Rebecca Dickinson, Dr Swee Tan, Peter Fisher, Noeline Fisher, Dr Tinte Itinteang (Courtesy of Maarten Holl – The Dominion Post)

A Martinborough man brutally beaten in 2012 has finally met the plastic surgeon who put his face back together.

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Adding another dimension to the GMRI

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GMRI Honorary Research Associate, Dr Kusal Wickremesekera

The GMRI has attracted another highly regarded person to work on cancer stem cell research, while at the same time securing significant expertise in a major new field of surgical research.

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It’s little wonder the GMRI takes a radically different approach

By NZ First Health Spokesperson, Barbara Stewart, MP

Barbara Stewart NZ First Party and Phillip Wakefield at GMRI Oct 2015 ph...

From left: GMRI Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Tinte Itinteang, GMRI Senior Research Fellow, Dr Paul Davis, Advisor to Barbara Stewart MP, Philip Wakefield, NZ First Health Spokesperson, Barbara Stewart MP, Dr Swee Tan, and GMRI Board Chair, Paul Baines

I would first like to thank Dr Swee Tan and his team at the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute for inviting me to visit their fantastic facility to learn more about their exciting new research into cancer and other diseases. 

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GMRI celebrates All Blacks’ success

ab success

Pictured left to right with the prized lab coat are Research Technicians Kirsty Mayall, Alice Chibnall, and Amy Bradshaw; and Research Nurse, Vickie Cameron

GMRI staff joined thousands of Wellingtonians in celebrating the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup victory at the welcoming parade on 6 November.

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GMRI’s work exciting, outstanding and exceptional, say dignitaries

Hon Peter Dunne

Hon Peter Dunne

Staff at the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute were privileged to be visited by several local dignitaries in July, though the latter insist the pleasure was entirely theirs.

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The GMRI opens doors, says Research Associate

GMRI Honorary Research Associate, Dr Agadha Wickremesekera

GMRI Honorary Research Associate,
Dr Agadha Wickremesekera

The Gillies McIndoe Research Institute opens doors for future biomedical research, for research students, and for the future treatment of cancers, says GMRI Honorary Research Associate, Dr Agadha Wickremesekera.

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Former GMRI summer students gain Honours degrees

Ranui Baillie (left) and Lucy Sulzberger

Ranui Baillie (left) and Lucy Sulzberger

Two former participants in the GMRI’s summer students’ programme have just been awarded Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) degrees from the University of Otago.

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It’s a privilege to work with the GMRI team

Paul

Chair of the GMRI and GMF, Paul Baines

“It is a privilege to work alongside such passionate and gifted people.  Swee and his colleagues are very capable and committed; I’m fortunate to be part of a team that is so focussed on achieving its aspirations.”

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Like father, like daughter

Alice Chibnall and father, Brett Chibnall

Alice Chibnall and father, Brett Chibnall

The Gillies McIndoe Research Institute is pleased to welcome Alice Chibnall to the team.

Alice joined us after completing her Masters of Science degree in biological science, in which she was awarded first class Honours by the University of Waikato.

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Dr Tan honoured as a World Class New Zealand Award winner

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The 2015 Kea Award winners: from back left: Tan Sri Halim Saad,
Dr Swee Tan, Beatrice Faumuina; from front left: Victoria Ransom,
the Rt Hon Helen Clark, Audette Exel

All of us at the GMRI, and our supporters and collaborators, are delighted that our Founder and Executive Director, Dr Swee Tan, has recently been the recipient of a prestigious Kea 2015 World Class New Zealand Award.

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GMRI a rewarding finale to a professor’s career

RegM

Professor Reg Marsh

Professor Reg Marsh’s approach to ‘winding down’ in his later years is different than most – he spends his time volunteering as a biostatistician at the GMRI.
It’s not surprising, though, given the impressive 53 year career under his belt.
“I just want to do work that is interesting, and may be helpful to a wider part of the community,” he says.

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Life would be dull without a challenge!

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Dr Tinte Itinteang

Life would definitely be dull without a challenge, says the newly appointed Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of the GMRI, Dr Tinte Itinteang.
Dr Itinteang has taken on the CSO role, succeeding Dr Paul Davis, who has stepped down from the acting role, but still remains active in the GMRI as a Senior Research Fellow.

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Stepping down, but definitely not out

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Dr Paul Davis

“The aim from my very first meeting with Swee 16 years ago was to set up a research institute. There have been highs and lows along the way, but we’ve finally achieved what we set out to do.”

So says Dr Paul Davis, who is stepping down as the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) after filling the acting role for two years.

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It is ‘an honour’ to support the GMRI

Nola

Dr Swee Tan with Nola Evans, during the Evans family’s visit to the GMRI

Rod Evans explains why the Evans family remain long-term supporters of the GMRI

The Evans family’s relationship with the GMRI began around 15 years ago when Dr Swee Tan performed an operation on Nola Evans, my mother, replacing a cancerous jawbone with part of her hipbone. The operation proved very successful and the family, like many others, is forever indebted to Swee.

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Health Minister visits GMRI facilities

Coleman

The GMRI’s newly appointed Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Tinte Itinteang, discusses the Institute’s research programme with the Minister of Health, The Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

 

The Minister of Health, The Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, visited the GMRI premises in Newtown, Wellington, in late March at the invitation of the Founder and Executive Director, Dr Swee Tan.

“We were pleased to have an opportunity to brief the Minister on our aspirations and our discoveries to date,” Dr Tan said.

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