Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute is Australia’s oldest medical research institute, founded in 1915.

The Institute has more than 850 researchers who are working to understand, prevent and treat diseases including: cancers such as breast, blood and bowel cancers; immune disorders such as diabetes, coeliac disease and multiple sclerosis; and infectious diseases including malaria, hepatitis B and HIV.

Our affiliation with The Royal Melbourne Hospital links research outcomes with clinical practice to accelerate discoveries for health and disease. We offer postgraduate training as the Department of Medical Biology of The University of Melbourne.

More than 30 million people worldwide have been helped by discoveries made at the Institute and more than 100 national and international clinical trials are underway that originate from Institute research. This include trials of vaccines and therapies for type 1 diabetes, coeliac disease and malaria; trials of new anti-inflammatory agents for arthritis and other immune disorders; and trials of a new class of anti-cancer drugs, called BH3-mimetics, for treating patients with leukaemia and other cancers.


Displaying 21 - 40 of 70 articles

Blood is categorised by the naturally occurring proteins and sugars on the surface of red blood cells. Jon Åslund/Flickr

Health Check: what does my blood group mean?

Few discoveries have revolutionised the practice of medicine as much as the discovery of human red blood cell groups. Unlike modern vampire and Time Lord mythologies, blood groups don’t have a particular…
The case was brought on behalf of cancer survivor Yvonne D'Arcy. DAN PELED/AAP

Australian federal court upholds gene patents

A Federal Court decision to allow gene patents could open the way for existing patents to be enforced more strongly in Australia…
Delicious and nutritious … and safe. Sarah Gilbert/Flickr

Safety first – assessing the health risks of GM foods

In this third instalment of GM in Australia – a series looking at the facts, ethics, regulations and research into genetically modified crops – Ashley Ng explains how GM foods are determined safe to eat…
A controversial retracted study has now been republished but there’s little difference between the two papers. Brian Talbot/Flickr

Séralini study is given new life, but where’s the new data?

A controversial 2012 paper on the effects of genetically modified (GM) maize and the herbicide glyphosate on tumour growth in rats – a paper later retracted by the journal – has been republished, with…
The stories behind Australia’s medical successes have often gone unreported. Flickr: jpalinsad360

Five Australian medical stories everyone should know

The history of Australian medical research is an unabashed good news story: it’s led to many astounding yet common medical treatments and to better understanding of disease. In fact, as a society we benefit…
A more effective treatment for preventing recurrence of breast cancer has emerged. pfala

Exemestane cuts breast cancer recurrence in younger women

A more effective therapy has emerged for preventing hormone-sensitive breast cancers returning in younger women. A global…
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (red helmet) is briefed about tanks containing radioactive water by Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant chief Akira Ono. EPA/Sankei Shimbun Pool

The case for Mark Willacy’s Fukushima

Many readers will know the name Mark Willacy, an Australian journalist who was the ABC’s North Asian correspondent for five years. On March 11, 2011, he would witness events that would redefine Japan as…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott on the day his government handed down its first Budget. AAP/Lukas Coch

Judgement day for Abbott on science and research funding

When the freshly-minted Prime Minister Tony Abbott declined for the first time since 1931 to appoint a science minister as part of his Cabinet in September last year, he did so having made an election…
Joe Hockey is congratulated after delivering his first budget, which outlined plans for a medical research future fund. aap

No matter how you fund it, medical research is a good investment

The federal government has announced a $20 billion medical research future fund, which is expected to distribute $1 billion to research by 2022-23, doubling its direct medical research funding. The announcement…
There’s no quick fix for the research industry in Australia, it needs a considered approach. Flickr/US Army RDECOM

Research and innovation in Australia need a long-term strategy

Most researchers would agree with the Commission of Audit’s finding that “given overall budget constraints, it is important to take a strategic, whole-of-government approach to where Australia’s research…
Genome sequencing has the potential to improve the diagnosis of conditions caused by changes in the DNA. Image from

Treating illness and preventing disease with genetic testing

Rapid technological advances mean it’s faster and cheaper than ever to read a person’s entire genetic code, known as the genome. Genomic sequencing has two potential applications in health: the care of…
Before the technology can used more widely, we need to ensure its use will bring improvements in health, quality and duration of life. Image from

Cheap genome tests to predict future illness? Don’t hold your breath

Sydney’s Garvan Institute is this week promoting its acquisition of an Illumina machine which it says can sequence the whole human genome for $1,000. The institute hopes genomic sequencing will become…
Terry Speed plus maths and stats equals Prime Minister’s Prize for Science 2013. WEHI

Is it possible to add statistics to science? You can count on it

The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science recognise excellence in science and science teaching. This year, we asked three prizewinners to reflect on their work and factors that influenced their careers…
Women who take time off research to have children face funding obstacles when returning to the workforce. Cia de Foto

Six steps to fairer funding for female scientists

A glass ceiling remains in place for female medical research scientists in Australia. Although approximately 50% of PhD students and postdoctoral scientists are female, males run the majority of research…
What exactly is enterobacteriaceae? And how did we get ourselves into this situation? Image from

‘Catastrophic threat’ looms as superbug beats another antibiotic

International health officials recently warned of a “catastrophic threat” to human health, given one of the last remaining antibiotics capable of defeating superbugs – carbapenem antibiotics – is succumbing…
Now, no cheating: why doesn’t Australia have its own Office for Research Integrity? Nat20_Film

From fraud to fair play: Australia must support research integrity

Science is knowledge gained from reproducible observations or experiments. Yet in a commentary in Nature in May last year, researchers from biotechnology company Amgen reported that the findings in 90…
Creating ways for PhD graduates and other science researchers to go into teaching could be a way to improve our science education. Phd student image from

Inspiring science: fast-track PhD graduates into teaching

MATHS AND SCIENCE EDUCATION: We’ve asked our authors about the state of maths and science education in Australia and its future direction. In this instalment, Marguerite Evans-Galea, Darren Saunders, and…
Angelina Jolie should be seen as a model for seeking information about her options and making a decision that best suited her. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

Panicking about breast cancer? Here’s what you need to know

Angelina Jolie’s recent announcement about her double mastectomy likely caused many women to think about their own chance of developing breast cancer. But before you rush off to have a bunch of possibly…

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