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Centenary Institute - Medical Research

Breakthroughs at Centenary Institute

As a world-leading independent Medical Research Institute Centenary’s vision is to improve human health through excellence in medical research.

Since our inception over three decades ago, our researchers have contributed to life-changing scientific advances in the areas of cancer, inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.

These breakthroughs highlighted below show how our researchers are better understanding diseases, to ultimately find treatments and cures, ensuring that people can live healthier and longer lives.

Visit our Media Centre for information on all our discoveries and scientific advances.

Click below to see our breakthroughs by year



  • Shown that inhibiting necroptosis, a form of cell death, could be a novel therapeutic approach for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). >> More
  • Found that the DPP4 gene family should be further studied to support potential new therapeutic approaches to fighting liver tumours. >> More
  • Found that a new dual drug approach could offer up a highly effective treatment strategy for melanoma. >> More


  • Discovered for the first time a link between chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), an often fatal lung condition, and the gut microbiome. >> More
  • Revealed that humans share important genetic mechanisms with a prehistoric sea sponge which is a fundamental discovery in evolution and advances understanding of genetic diseases. >> More
  • Found human proteins existing in different and changing states with implications for the development of drugs in the fight against disease. >> More
  • Discovered that genetic testing can reveal previously hidden heart defects in nearly a quarter of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survivors who seem to have a normal heart. >> More
  • Demonstrated that the enzyme SphK2 is a key player in the regulation of insulin which could lead to a new treatment approach for diabetes. >> More
  • Discovered that tumour-resident T cells are a critical determinant in survival rates of patients suffering from throat cancer. >> More


  • Found that an Australian sea sponge could hold the key to successfully combatting the deadly disease tuberculosis. >> More
  • Uncovered the impact of new technology on the over-diagnosis of a little known inherited heart disease. >> More
  • Discovered a key reason why the influenza virus is so effective at establishing infection and causing damage in the lungs. >> More
  • Developed and tested a new type of vaccine targeting tuberculosis, the world’s top infectious disease killer. >> More
  • Discovered that aspirin could be used to treat patients with severe tuberculosis infection. >> More


  • Discovering a new virus strain, which could change the way chronic and childhood kidney diseases are approached and treated. >> More
  • Improved the diagnosis rate of a potentially deadly heart condition by up to 20 per cent. >> More
  • Determined how to develop safer blood-clotting drugs. >> More
  • Developed a novel drug which could potentially be used to treat patients with diabetic retinopathy; the main cause of blindness from diabetes. >> More
  • Discovered a cure for a sub-set of one of the most common genetic blood diseases in the world, Beta-thalassemia. >> More
  • Developed a novel drug which is being touted as a major step forward in the battle against obesity. >> More
  • Created a more realistic model of primary liver cancer. >> More


  • Developed a new drug that could be effective in some of the hardest to treat cancers such as pancreatic and liver cancer. >> More
  • Discovered that gut bacteria could hold the key to treating and preventing potentially deadly strokes. >> More
  • Discovered a new cell in the liver, which will inform future investigations into liver disease and liver cancer. >> More
  • Identified antibacterial compounds in soil that could lead to new treatments for tuberculosis. >> More
  • Discovered a common pattern in the process of gene regulation that could be the key to treating and finding cures for cancers and other diseases. >> More
  • Revealed that a naturally occurring chemical process to DNA can change the way information in genes are read to help treat cancer. >> More


  • Revealed new genetic insights on causes of sudden cardiac death in the young. >> More
  • Identified the first possible link between the heart and the brain in epilepsy patients. >> More
  • Identified drug targets for cerebral cavernous malformations. >> More
  • Revealed new information about the way the cornea responds to damage to assist in treating blindness. >> More


  • Discovered that an enzyme could be a potential therapeutic target for limiting tumour growth and its spread into the liver. >> More
  • Discovered new links between nutrition and prostate cancer. >> More


  • Discovered a new immune cell type that causes skin diseases and skin allergies.


  • Discovered new drug candidates for prostate and breast cancer.


  • Developed an integrated genetic and clinical approach for early diagnosis and treatment solutions to prevent sudden cardiac death.
  • Discovery of a new mechanism by which the liver kills immune cells responsible for graft rejection and viral clearance.


  • Discovered micro RNA can be used to treat diseases associated with vascular leak eg stroke and myocardinal infarction.


  • Discovered anti TNF therapy increases the risk of reactivation of Tuberculosis.
  • Improved the identification of human regulatory T Cells, a discovery used widely in clinical research settings.


  • Discovered critical insights into the role of the immune system in health and disease.