Royal Honour for our Director

Professor Graham Le Gros made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours

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Bioinformatics: a new era of digital research

Science and technology work together to help reveal the causes of human disease.

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Asthma vaccine discovery

Researchers have discovered new vaccine technology that can be used to treat asthma and other allergic diseases.

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Extraordinary gene transfer

A Malaghan-led team is first in the world to demonstrate mitochondrial DNA movement between cells in an animal tumour.

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Who we are

The Malaghan Institute is New Zealand’s leading medical research institute focused on finding cures for cancer, asthma and allergy, multiple sclerosis and infectious disease.






















PhD student Sotaro Ochiai

Our scientists believe that the key to fighting illness lies in harnessing the immune system, the body’s own natural defence against disease. In addition to our drive for making important health discoveries, we are also committed to the development of New Zealand scientists and clinicians.

Although completely independent, we maintain close collaborative relationships with tertiary institutions, Crown Research Institutes, hospitals and clinics throughout New Zealand. We are a registered charity and are based at Victoria University's Kelburn campus in Wellington.

Our history

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 1986 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, we have proudly upheld our original commitment to quality of work, honesty of purpose and strength of endeavour.

Today our scientists are recognised internationally for their leading research into the development of more effective immunotherapies and treatments for cancer, asthma and allergy, multiple sclerosis and infectious disease.

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