The Garvan Institute of Medical Research was founded in 1963 by the Sisters of Charity.
Initially a research department of St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, it is now one of Australia’s largest medical research institutions with approximately 650 scientists, students and support staff. The current director is Prof John Mattick.
Garvan’s research is focused on the major diseases that affect today’s society: cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease; as well as eating disorders, and autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. It specialises in genetic and molecular technologies, and emphasises collaborative research.
In 2014 the Institute became one of only three organisations in the world – and the only one outside the United States – able to sequence the human genome at a base cost below $US1,000 each (the $1,000 genome) when it purchased the next generation of genome sequencing equipment, which is capable of sequencing 350 genomes a week (18,000 a year).