The University of Newcastle, Australia

City landmarks giving green light to a brighter future with HMRI

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Several of Newcastle’s best-known buildings will be radiating green from May 29 as the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) celebrates national Medical Research Week while reflecting on its own 20th anniversary.

Among those set to shine green lights are Newcastle City Hall clock tower, the University of Newcastle’s NewSpace building, Greater Bank headquarters in Hamilton, and two Newcastle Harbour icons the Graincorp silos and Port Waratah Coal Services coal loaders at Carrington.

HMRI Director Professor Michael Nilsson says that illuminating these key landmarks is symbolic of the Institute and its donors giving the green light to world-leading medical research from bench to bedside. The colour, of course, is also intrinsic to HMRI’s logo.

“We thank all those who are shining a light on the world-class translational research being conducted here in conjunction with the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community,” Professor Nilsson says.

“City Hall clock represents community ties and the changing times for the region since HMRI was established, and Greater Bank and Port Waratah Coal Services are demonstrating HMRI’s close connections with local businesses, industries and donors.

“It’s a wonderful way to celebrate our 20th anniversary and also to light a path for the next 20 years and create a brighter future for our community and humanity as a whole. We need ongoing support to ensure this continues.”

Professor Nilsson has encouraged other workplaces and homes to shine green or blue lights, or wear green clothing, to signify their support for home-grown medical research. “Even if it’s changing your porch light to green for a week, we’d love to see how HMRI has touched the community through its research outcomes and clinical trials,” he adds.

“Twenty years ago, the Hunter was facing the closure of its Steelworks. In its place, we’ve built a knowledge industry for the region that is also directly benefiting the health and wellbeing of families. It's a triumph of community spirit and support, for which we should all be proud.”

Hennie du Plooy from Port Waratah Coal Services adds, “As an industry partner supporting the world class translational research of the DADEE program we are proud to celebrate our long association with HMRI by lighting our Carrington shiploaders green, a first for our operations.”

HMRI is kicking off the week with a Researcher Showcase Evening on May 30, featuring the 2017 researchers of the year – leading dietitian Professor Clare Collins, physical activity pioneer Professor David Lubans and smoking cessation advocate Associate Professor Gillian Gould.

The Australian Society for Medical Research is staging a satellite Scientific Meeting at the HMRI Building on June 1 headed by plenary speaker Professor Matt Trau, a cancer nanotechnologist.

* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.

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