SSMRF Research Matters E-News – Issue 1 – March 2021

We are delighted to share our latest e-newsletter, inside you’ll find news highlighting recent achievements, research updates and information about many of the exciting initiatives that have been happening at SSMRF.

Everything we’ve achieved is only possible because of your generous support. Thank you for being part of the SSMRF community.

SSMRF Research Matters E-News – Issue 1 – March 2021

As 2021 gets underway, researchers across the St George and Sutherland hospitals have returned to their labs, three of them with new SSMRF grants to support their innovative research projects.

The 2020 SSMRF Research Grants were made possible from the support of our community. We are thankful to everyone who helped raise funds for SSMRF, your ongoing involvement, generosity and support has been essential to funding research in our hospitals, and we can’t thank you enough.

Last year, many of the Foundations’ fundraising events needed to be cancelled, adapted or postponed. In 2021 we look forward to welcoming you back to the Foundation’s annual events, including our charity golf day, Beachside Dash and grant announcement. Stay tuned for some new community events coming this year too.

In the meantime, we invite you to contact us with any feedback, comments, or questions you may have about the Foundation or any of the research projects.

On behalf of the directors, doctors, and staff, we thank you for your commitment and support of the Foundation.

Leanne Dib, CEO
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News from SSMRF

Meet the 2020 SSMRF Research Grant Recipients

Three researchers from the St George Hospital and the Sutherland Hospital have been awarded a SSMRF research grant for research projects across multiple disciplines.

We look forward to keeping you updated on these research projects.

Dr Kevin (Jie) Nia7069fa2 9f6f 45cd 8d75 abc34d56248d

SSMRF Grant: $46,000

A novel liquid biopsy assay of blood exosomal microRNA profiles to improve prostate cancer

8b60d157 0324 48c6 82e6 618f02429569Professor Georgina Hold

SSMRF Grant: $50,000

Facilitating Translational Research Studies in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

cc3ef064 4189 47f0 bca6 24dcb6ef6e22Dr Bill Giannakopoulos

SSMRF: $50,000

Quantification of redox forms of plasma ApoJ, ApoH and PDI to identify at risk patients for Alzheimer’s disease.

St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation Relocates!

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L to R: Cathy Yuncken, Chair SSMRF, Professor Emad El-Omar, Paul Darcy, General Manager St George Hospital, Madeline Tynan, Professor Kate Moore AO, Leanne Dib, CEO SSMRF, A/Professor George Skowronski, Professor Michael Grimm.

With the support of St George Hospital, the Foundation now embarks on a new chapter within the grounds of St George Hospital. St George Hospital is providing office space to the Foundation, free of charge to support its work.

Paul Darcy, General Manager St George Hospital, welcomed the Foundation to the hospital grounds.

“We are very happy to be able to facilitate the Foundation moving onto the St George Hospital campus and hope this location will help raise the profile of the Foundation and the amazing work done by our talented medical researchers here at St George Hospital,” Paul said.

This new announcement and commitment of support is welcomed by Cathy Yuncken, Chair, Leanne Dib, CEO and Directors of the Foundation.

Cathy Yuncken thanked Paul Darcy for this outstanding show of support and partnership. Read more.

Researchers at St George Hospital discover liver cancer ‘signature’ in gut holds clues to cancer risk

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A/Prof Amany Zekry
The Sir Owen Glenn (SOG) Liver Research Group from the UNSW Microbiome Research Centre (MRC) at St George Hospital, has discovered the distinctive gut microbiome profile of a person with liver cancer linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) could be the key to predicting someone’s risk of developing the cancer.

Their new study, overseen by A/Prof Amany Zekry, a Hepatologist Clinical Academic at UNSW and Prof Emad El-Omar, Professor of Medicine at UNSW, Director and founder of MRC, published in Nature Communications recently, found the gut microbiome – the kingdom of microorganisms living in our digestive tracts – can modulate the immune response in liver cancer patients with NAFLD, in a way that promotes the cancer’s survival.

While the research is still in its early stages, this finding could lead to more effective preventative and therapeutic treatments for people at risk of developing NAFLD-related liver cancer. Read More.


  • 27th May 2021 – SSMRF Charity Golf Day
  • June 2021 – Red for Research
  • 12th September 2021 – Beachside Dash Fun Run
  • October 2021 – Michael Tynan Challenge
  • December – SSMRF Grant Announcement

Support our research

Our research relies on the generous support of people like you. Show your support for SSMRF medical research today. There are many ways you can be involved.

  • Make a donation. Large or small all donations make a difference.
  • Become a research champion. Set up a regular donation and help fund important research.
  • Donate in memory. Giving in honour or memory of a loved one can be a powerful and lasting way to celebrate their life.
  • Leave a gift in your Will. Leaving a gift in your will is a powerful way for you to support vital medical research.
  • Grateful Giving. Say thank you to those who cared for you.
  • Fundraise for us. You don’t have to be a researcher to make a big difference to medical research.
  • Volunteer with us. Our volunteers generously donate their time and talent so we can raise more money and awareness for research in our local hospitals.

Please contact SSMRF if you would like further information on how you can help support medical research in your hospitals. We would love to hear from you.

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