As the first medical research institute in Western Australia, we are thrilled
to be celebrating our 40th Anniversary in 2022.
See some of our highlights and milestones below.
1960 – The Quokka Story
Muscular Dystrophy Western Australia (MDWA) and Perron Institute, originally the Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute (ANRI) – owe their origins to the humble Rottnest Island quokka and Emeritus Professor Byron Kakulas’ discovery he could regenerate their muscle.
1965 – Inclusion Body Myositis identified as a clinical identity
Inclusion body myositis [IBM] was distinguished from polymyositis in a biopsy examined by Byron Kakulas in 1965. Fred Samaha went on to clearly define the entity which was later elucidated via electron microscopy by Sam Chou.
1967 – Emeritus Professor Byron Kakulas AO
Emeritus Professor Byron Kakulas, then Professor of Neuropathology at the University of Western Australia, in partnership with a group of parents whose children suffered from muscular dystrophy took the bold decision to establish the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Western Australia, now Muscular Dystrophy Western Australia.
1971 – Major International Congress on Muscle Diseases
Perth hosted a major international congress on muscle diseases where the idea of establishing a neuromuscular research institute in Perth was born.
1978 – Location established at SCGH
The WA Government indicated that it was prepared to make space available in the old Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital building at the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre in Nedlands.
1982 – Official establishment of ANRI
In 1982, the Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute was established with Professor Kakulas as its Foundation Director.
1993 – Perron Institute contributed to the discovery of the SOD1 MND gene
Researchers at the Perron Institute (then the Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute) played a significant part in discovering the first gene (SOD1) associated with MND, in collaboration with researchers in the United States, Canada and Europe.
2014 – The Institute is renamed WANRI
The institute was renamed to the Western Australian Neuroscience Research Institute, paying homage to its WA origins.
2016 – First Duchenne drug receives accelerated approval from the US FDA
A ground-breaking drug developed by Professors Steve Wilton AO and Sue Fletcher AO to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy received accelerated approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The first of three drugs approved by the US FDA.
2017 – The Institute takes the Perron name
In 2017, we proudly became the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science in honour of Mr Stan Perron AC and his family’s long-standing support.
2017 – The Institute moves to the Sarich building
In 2017, the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science moves to the Ralph and Patricia Sarich Neuroscience Institute. Read more.
2018 – Perron Institute hosts the Neurotrauma Research Program (NRP)
The Perron Institute generously became host to the Neurotrauma Research Program, founded by Professor Bryant Stokes AO in 2010. Perron Institute’s research focuses on neurological disorders and diseases and closely aligns with the goals and objectives of the NRP.
2019 – Second drug for Duchenne achieves US FDA accelerated approval
Developed by Professors Sue Fletcher AO and Steve Wilton AO at the Perron Institute via The University of Western Australia, Vyondys 53 is the second exon skipping therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy to receive accelerated approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration.
2022 – The Institute celebrates 40 years of leadership in neuroscience research
As the longest established medical research institute in Western Australia, we are excited to be celebrating our 40th birthday this year. Read more.
2022 – Professor Samar Aoun appointed Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at UWA
In her role as Chair, Professor Aoun will focus on developing models of integrated care which mobilise community assets, better primary care engagement, and improved partnerships between specialist and generalist services. Read more.
2022 – Rob McKenzie appointed new Chair of the Perron Institute Board
Eminent barrister and solicitor Rob McKenzie was appointed the new Chair of the Perron Institute Board. Mr McKenzie, who joined the Board in March 2022, replaced Emeritus Professor Alan Robson AO CitWA who served as Chairman for five years. Find out more.
2022-Professor Graeme Hankey appointed as Perron Institute Chair in Stroke Research at UWA
Distinguished neurologist Professor Graeme Hankey has been appointed as the inaugural Perron Institute Chair in Stroke Research at The University of Western Australia. Discover more.