Scope 38 - A vision becomes a reality

17 April 2009

The concept of a Wellington-based, independent medical research institute was first proposed in the early 1960’s. At that time relatively little research was being conducted in the area due to lack of facilities, nor was it customary for Hospital Boards to foster or support research in their hospitals.

Using funds from a trust established by the Wellington Medical Research Foundation and the Wellington Division of the Cancer Society, the Wellington Cancer and Medical Research Institute was opened on 26 July 1979, in rented premises in the Wellington School of Medicine. In 1985 the name of the Institute was changed to the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research in recognition of the generous support by the late Mr Len Malaghan and Mrs Ann Malaghan. Two decades later the Institute relocated to a purpose-built facility at Victoria University of Wellington.

Through challenging times of funding shortfalls and the ‘brain drain’ of our talented young scientists overseas, the Institute has proudly upheld its original commitment to “quality of work, honesty of purpose and strength of endeavour”. From humble beginnings through to New Zealand’s premier vaccine and immunology research centre, this is the story of the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research.

“History has taught us that basic research into the cellular and molecular mechanisms which underlie disease represents the best hope for the wellbeing of future generations.” Prof Graham Le Gros (2004)