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Philanthropic Partnership Sees Record $15 Million Boost To Biomedical Research

Research into cancer, infectious disease and allergic and inflammatory conditions is set to enter new frontiers thanks to one of the biggest ever private gifts to biomedical research in New Zealand.

On the back of more than 12 years of investment, the Hugh Green Foundation has pledged a further $15 million over five years to build national capability and capacity at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research’s research technology hub, the Hugh Green Cytometry Centre.

“This is huge. It’s one of the largest single philanthropic gifts to biomedical research capability in New Zealand,” says Malaghan Institute Director Professor Graham Le Gros. “It will accelerate advances in cancer therapies, vaccines against novel infectious agents, insights into allergic diseases and improvements in gut health in New Zealand.

“As an independent charity, philanthropy plays a significant role in the Malaghan Institute’s ability to deliver real-world solutions for New Zealand-specific health challenges. We are buoyed by the trust put in us by the Hugh Green Foundation and shared vision for a healthier New Zealand.”

Based at the Malaghan Institute in Wellington, the Hugh Green Cytometry Centre is an internationally-recognised flow cytometry and bioimaging centre, underpinning the institute’s immunology research and enabling scientists to deeply interrogate the complex relationship between the immune system and our health.

Through this funding, the Hugh Green Cytometry Centre will expand capacity in flow cytometry and bioimaging, and establish integrated capabilities in data science, molecular biology, single cell RNA sequencing and mRNA technology. These cutting-edge technologies will advance the Malaghan Institute’s research programmes, contribute to the institute’s sustainability, and provide the nucleus of New Zealand’s capability in immunoprofiling.

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Malaghan Institute Chief Technology Officer Kylie Price, who heads the Hugh Green Cytometry Centre, says the renewed philanthropic partnership has three joint outcomes – improving health, developing scientists and driving innovation.

“The Hugh Green Foundation Deed of Gift with the Malaghan sets out a roadmap to drive innovative research and discovery and help set up our scientists and collaborators as world-leaders in their chosen fields, ultimately improving health outcomes for New Zealanders living with disease.”

The Hugh Green Foundation, a charitable trust dedicated to improving living standards and the social wellbeing of New Zealand communities, has been pivotal in funding the Malaghan Institute’s technology platform, helping build capability in flow cytometry – a scientific technique used to give vital information about cells for health research and diagnostics – and other key scientific tools such as microscopy and data science.

By investing in these technologies as an integrated platform, the Hugh Green Foundation is endeavouring to play its part in making New Zealand an attractive biomedical discovery and development partner as well as building the local ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to build on our collaborative relationship with the Malaghan Institute through the Hugh Green Cytometry Centre,” says Hugh Green Foundation Chairperson John Green.

“This major investment will enable the centre to both ‘build’ and ‘expand’ its current capabilities and services. Their vision of establishing world-class technology platforms and becoming sustainable over the next five years is testimony to the depth of talent and commitment to medical science and innovation in New Zealand.”

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