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.

Things progressed from there; having attended talks by Swee and hearing about his success in removing strawberry birthmarks, the family learned of Swee’s long-term desire to establish what is now the Gillies McIndoe Research Institute (GMRI).  Swee’s and colleagues’ aim was to find better ways to relieve human suffering.

The family considered it an honour if we could support the GMRI in any way, and funding the Chief Scientific Officer position seemed most appropriate.

Dr Tinte Itinteang, the newly appointed Chief Scientific Officer, is the inaugural Evans Family Research Fellow. The family is very proud to be able to have the opportunity to support Dr Itinteang in this important role.

The family was recently honoured with a tour of the new laboratory, and the opportunity to view some of the very latest equipment used by the GMRI team to aid in finding a cure for cancer.  The enthusiasm and commitment Swee and his team demonstrate in pursuing paradigm-changing research cannot be over-emphasised.

The GMRI’s work is being recognised worldwide. A number of universities and research establishments have sought to persuade Swee to move to their facilities.  But Swee has remained a dedicated Wellingtonian and New Zealander, having declined their offers.  We are very fortunate to have such a skilful team of surgeons and researchers living and working in the Wellington district.

The Evans family would also like to acknowledge Dr Paul Davis, who has been a guiding hand and mentor to Swee from his early years as a research scientist. Dr Davis is now the GMRI’s newly appointed part-time Senior Research Fellow. The family would like to congratulate Dr Davis on his appointment and the research contribution he has made over many years.