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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

GMRI joins social media

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

Read More

Recent publications in peer-reviewed journals

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.





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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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


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.

Read More

GMRI research potentially life-changing, says Wellington neurosurgeon


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.

Read More

Aspiring to achieve an effective treatment for Dupuytren’s disease


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).

Read More

The GMRI lays foundation blocks for budding researchers


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.

Read More

Publishing research is no small achievement


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.

Read More

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.

Read More

GMRI advances in vascular birthmarks showcased at international conference


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.

Read More

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.

Read More

GMRI student research ‘far-reaching’

Sam Siljeecrpd

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”.

Read More

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.

Read More

Graham Langridge, founding board member, honoured

graham langridge

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.

Read More

Summer students experience “a different world” at the GMRI


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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Leading US medical researchers hosted by the GMRI


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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Adding another dimension to the GMRI


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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

It’s a privilege to work with the GMRI team


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.”

Read More

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.

Read More

Dr Tan honoured as a World Class New Zealand Award winner


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.

Read More

GMRI a rewarding finale to a professor’s career


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.

Read More

Life would be dull without a challenge!


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.

Read More

Stepping down, but definitely not out


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.

Read More

It is ‘an honour’ to support the GMRI


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.

Read More

Health Minister visits GMRI facilities


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.

Read More

New GMRI website now up and running

We invite you all to visit the GMRI’s new website.

The GMRI has developed a new website to better showcase its ground-breaking research and to engage on a more personal level with supporters who want to stay abreast of progress.

Chair, Paul Baines, says the website better positions the GMRI’s research focus and tells more of the story behind the Institute’s approach to research into cancer, fibrotic conditions, vascular birthmarks and regenerative medicine, based on the role of stem cells.

“Swee and his team at the GMRI are doing some remarkable work based on concepts that international experts consider to be ground-breaking.

“It’s important that our supporters feel they can engage with what the GMRI is doing, can stay abreast of developments and feel part of the journey.”

Read More

Rotary clubs get behind the GMRI

Pat Waite

The past Governor of Rotary District 9940 and GMRI supporter, Pat Waite

Rotary clubs in New Zealand and Australia are being urged to actively support the GMRI.

GMRI Founder and Executive Director, Dr Swee Tan, has a long association with Rotary in New Zealand.

In addition to his work with the GMRI, Swee has provided surgical services for free to the Rotary Overseas Medical Aid Corps (ROMAC).

He was made a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow in 2008 and was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Rotary International Institute conference in Wellington.

The past Governor of District 9940 and the organiser of that conference, Pat Waite, says Swee’s keynote presentation was rated the best by conference delegates.

“Over 80 percent of those surveyed noted Swee’s presentation exceeded expectations, a remarkable result,” Pat says.

Read More

The other side of nursing at the GMRI

Left, 10-week old Stevie Phillips-Paki with a large strawberry birthmark that also affected her eye-socket, threatening her vision. Right, Sophie de Jong with Stevie after treatment, underscored by discoveries made by the team at the GMRI

Left, 10-week old Stevie Phillips-Paki with a large strawberry birthmark that also affected her eye-socket, threatening her vision. Right, Sophie de Jong with Stevie after treatment, underscored by discoveries made by the team at the GMRI

Not many people can say they are involved in changing the way cancer is treated – so Sophie de Jong considers herself lucky to be part of that process.

Sophie, a Research Nurse, works at the GMRI, experiencing what she considers to be the “other side” of the profession.

“It’s an interesting challenge, being on the other side and dealing with science and research, rather than dealing directly with patients in a hospital,” Sophie says.

“It’s also extremely exciting, being involved with such ground-breaking work.”

Read More

Board member inspired by the GMRI’s work

Jane Parker

GMRI board member, Jane Parker

“The GMRI has an absolutely inspiring story to tell, and I’m privileged to be part of it,” says Jane Parker, a GMRI board member and passionate advocate.

Jane is a lawyer at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, specialising in commercial law and projects with a focus on technology, contracting, intellectual property and governance.

Having done some pro bono work for the GMRI in the past, she was asked to join the board after another lawyer left.

Jane was “delighted” when Swee Tan asked if she was interested in filling the position.

“It was a great moment for me, personally and professionally,” she says.

“After my previous involvement with the Institute, I was very happy to join as it fits my personal values. Their goal is to reduce people’s suffering – how do you fault that?

Read More

GMRI in novel philanthropic fund raising campaign

Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron

One of New Zealand’s leading investment bankers hopes to raise as much as $10 million to boost the GMRI’s research efforts.

Rob Cameron, who heads Cameron Partners, is one of this country’s most highly-regarded capital markets practitioners.

His remarkable track record includes chairing the Government’s Capital Markets Development Task Force, and assisting the birth of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund and the Government’s partial privatisation programme.

Made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s honours list, Rob is now working closely with the GMRI on a novel philanthropic fund raising programme using capital markets techniques.

Read More