Perron Institute Board Members, Executive and guests gathered recently at Fraser’s Kings Park to celebrate some exciting and significant achievements.

These were the accomplishment of the third United States Food and Drug Administration accelerated drug approval for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and the Queen’s Birthday recognition of three of the institute’s distinguished research leaders.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June, Professors Steve Wilton AO and Sue Fletcher AO, creators of the successful drug approvals, were awarded the Order of Australia for distinguished service to medical research, to neurological science, and to the treatment and support of those with muscular dystrophy.

Professor Frank Mastaglia AM, a stalwart of the Perron Institute, former Director of Clinical Services and regarded as a living legend in the world of neurology, was awarded a Member in the General Division for significant service to neuromuscular disease, and to professional associations.

Perron Institute Board Chair, Professor Alan Robson AO CitWA, spoke about the collective contributions of the Queen’s Birthday Honours recipients and the significance of the FDA approvals.

“These efforts resonate with clever thinking, commitment, persistence over two decades, strength of mind and ingenuity,” he said.

“FDA approvals are what dreams are made of – key approval for communities to benefit from the years of persistence and endeavour.

“It is a wonderful accomplishment in a researcher’s lifetime, and very few experience this outcome. One accelerated approval is fantastic; three approvals by one team in Western Australia is outstanding and deserves to be heralded.”

Perron Institute Vice Patron, Professor Lyn Beazley AO, inspired the audience with her acknowledgement of the impact of the research and its exciting potential future applications.

“Now I see scientists reaching their full potential because of this amazing institution,” she said.

“We have wonderful talent coming through, and we need to nourish that.”

Perron Institute CEO Steve Arnott highlighted some of the Perron Institute’s extraordinary achievements over the past four decades and spoke about the anniversary celebrations set to start in the coming months.

The Perron Institute turns 40 next year as the first medical institute established in WA – a testament to the foresight and determination of Founding Director, Emeritus Professor Byron Kakulas AO. His world-first discovery that muscle could be regenerated provided the platform for Professors Wilton and Fletcher’s subsequent research breakthroughs.

“Between them, Steve, Sue, Frank and Byron have played a huge part in building the foundation for the Perron Institute – a confident and collaborative research organisation that will continue to focus on better understanding of brain function and the translation of neurological research into therapies to benefit the community,” Steve Arnott said.

“Congratulations for these incredible achievements and the Queen’s Birthday Honours awarded in recognition of your decades of work in your research fields.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this event had been rescheduled three times. Thank you to the organisers and all who attended.