1990s Cancer research accelerates

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  • The new building was officially opened in 1991, and was aptly named The Bancroft Centre, as a memorial to the family who contributed to QIMR’s early history.
  • In 1990 Professor Lawrie Powell, QIMR’s fifth Director, led the organisation into a new era of collaborative and translational research.
  • In 1992, scientists began to develop new methods to recognise and control organ transplant rejection without using immune-suppressing drugs.
  • In 1997, a philanthropic donation of $20 million was matched by both the federal and state governments. This represented the opportunity to construct a comprehensive cancer research centre unparalleled in Australian history. The Cancer Research Centre was named after Mr Clive Berghofer in appreciation of his extremely generous contribution towards the building. 
  • During this decade, cancer research started to accelerate and in 1994 QIMR scientists discovered mutations of a melanoma gene in a study of Queensland families.
  • World-first human trials to test a new genetic immunotherapy treatment against cancer commenced in 1995.
  • Skin cancer researchers found in 1997 that cloud and shade provided little protection against ultraviolet rays; and in 1996 and 1998, genes were found that regulate cancer development and spread. 
  • Researchers achieved 83-100% success in eradicating mosquito larvae carrying dengue fever in Vietnam by biological control.