Since its inception in 1998, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research has made significant discoveries into the diseases that plague our families, in particular heart disease, diabetes and cancer. With over 200 researchers, scientists and doctors housed in two state-of-the-art research facilities, the Perkins creates a culture of innovation and collaboration. Teams dedicated to finding answers to defeat cancers are funded from the MACA Cancer 200 each year.

In 2023, this is how you are having an impact.

You're supporting the work of Professor Jonas Nilsson

Professor Jonas Nilsson came to the Harry Perkins Institute from Gothenburg, Sweden in 2020 to take up the inaugural position of Chair of Melanoma Discovery. His aim? To improve the survival for melanoma patients in WA.

Melanoma research is a strong area of focus for the Perkins. And we have made a commitment to seek out the best in the world to help push the scientific boundaries of this disease. Your ride efforts are funding Professor Nilsson's Australian-first melanoma research. 

Professor Jonas Nilsson

“The glass is definitely half full when it comes to treatment. Fifty per cent of patients can now get very, very long responses or even cures. But if you flip to the other side of the coin, what about the rest of the patients? What can we do for them? That is where our research is going.”

Professor Jonas Nilsson 
Dr Lisa Nilsson and Professor Jonas Nilsson

Globally, Australia has the highest rate of melanoma

Melanoma is also currently the third most diagnosed cancer in Australia with 1400 people diagnosed each year.

Current immunotherapy treatment (where a patient’s own immune system is harnessed to attack the cancer cells) available to melanoma patients in WA benefits around 50 per cent of people. 

Professor Nilsson and his team are working toward the approval in WA for a treatment called celltherapy, where immune cells are taken from the tumour and ‘supercharged’ outside a patient’s body, and then reintroduced to the body in enormous numbers to help that person fight off the disease.

"When I summarise my career 20 years from now, I want to say, ‘well, we didn’t find a magic bullet (or maybe we did), but at least we pushed what we could do in the lab all the way to the clinic, and we didn’t leave people behind.

Professor Jonas Nilsson 

Your support has the potential to save many lives 

While other labs are working on a ‘magic bullet’ breakthrough for melanoma patients, Professor Nilsson explained that this celltherapy treatment has an immediate benefit, with the potential to save many lives.

Professor Nilsson's work and lab is one of the many important projects that your efforts are funding through the MACA Cancer 200.
Throughout your ride journey, you will learn more about this incredible work and that of other cancer researchers benefiting from your generosity and commitment.

Professor Jonas Nilsson and Dr Lisa Nilsson

Want to get started raising vital funds for groundbreaking research such as Professor Nilsson's? Take a look at your fundraising resources!