About Us

As researchers, we do not accept that any disease is too hard to understand, or that any problem is too difficult to overcome."

Professor Roger Reddel
Director of Children's Medical Research Institute

Children's Medical Research Institute (CMRI) actively conducts fundamental (meaning fundamentally important) medical and biological research. Our scientists ask the difficult questions. What causes cancer? How do we stop it? Why does development go wrong and how can we prevent it? How does the brain work? Can what we’ve learned be put to use to treat cancer, epilepsy, and genetic diseases?

Our task is to make the future better

CMRI scientists ask the difficult questions in order to gain the important answers. This knowledge enables us to light the spark of discovery and to create a healthier future for all children.

What we’ve accomplished in the last 20 years:

  • World-first project to transform cancer diagnosis and personalise treatment planning within 7 years, part of the 'Moonshot' to end cancer.
  • Found a single genetic defect can cause cleft lip and palate.
  • Fate map of the early embryo to help us understand many developmental problems.
  • Identification of the components of telomerase, which will be important for treating 85% of all cancers.
  • Discovery of the Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT) mechanism, which can lead to treatments for the other 15% of cancers.
  • Developing a blood test for ALT cancers that will allow physicians to diagnose and plan treatments for cancers such as aggressive glioblastoma brain tumours.
  • Partnering with the Children’s Hospital Westmead on a cure for genetic liver disease, with clinical trials about to begin.
  • Discovering and developing a new class of drugs for treating epilepsy.

What we plan to accomplish in the next 20 years:

  • Develop epilepsy treatments that will help children (and adults) around the world.
  • Develop new treatments for kidney disease and diabetes.
  • Provide more gene therapy cures for rare genetic diseases in children.
  • New treatments for infectious diseases.
  • Telomere research to help us understand predisposition to diseases.
  • Find new and better treatments for every type of cancer.

The prize for success is beyond all measure: The health and potential happiness of a vast army of children of today and tomorrow."

Sir Lorimer Dods (1900-1981)
Co-Founder of CMRI 1958