The John Curtin Medial Research Foundation DinnerShare Event on Facebook Share Event on Twitter Share Event on LinkedIn
The John Curtin Medial Research Foundation 2nd Anniversary Dinner at University House was for the organizers just what the doctor ordered for this fledgling foundation destined to be a vital resource for the John Curtin School of Medical Research in their medical research. The can do attitude of those at the helm of this foundation is an example to all of us who treasure the institution that is JCSMR, its achievements, and a need for future funding for cutting edge equipment. That need demonstrated by the final $23,000 required to pay for the Olympus Intral-Vital microscope that’s ready to peek into living cells and find answers to many maladies donated at the dinner and putting a smile on the face of the ANU Vice Chancellor Ian Young and everybody’s favourite GP Cam Webber as Chairman of the foundation, who probably had to use their credit cards to get it in the first place. That final payment came in part courtesy of the John James Foundation, indicative we hope of partnerships for the future.
Without the Foundation’s support dwindling resources for research and for universities in general take on the begging bowl scenario where cap (and lab coat) in hand our scientists and doctors go from the laboratories to the coal face of funding, not always assured of continuity for their research and competing for a handout.
This dinner was also about the story of Nobel Laureate Professor Robin Warren, the laid- back Laureate who is happiest in his shorts with bare feet taking photographs, and recipient of the Nobel Prize in 2005 shared with Barry Marshall for finding those pesky bacteria, Heliobactor pylori, in our stomachs that all prior medical teaching had taught can’t grow in the stomach. But they did, Professor Warren knew it and persevered with the kind of determination and guilelessness of a true scientist. As guest speaker he was a charmer. Ken Begg as his interlocutor having to gently bring him back to the question but we were enjoying his story telling and are wiser to the wily ways of the pharmaceutical industry and understand better the discipline and determination of this noble Nobel winner. He who could tell John Howard that no he couldn’t get on a plane to Canberra at the PM’s behest as he had no one to mind the dogs, won me over. As did our chat about the good old days of his first box brownie and learning to develop and print pictures, a hobby that helped in his use of stains for research.
We dined on fine food and exemplary wines from Mudgee’s Bunnamagoo Estate Wines with a secret I’ll share that the 2010 Shiraz is a fruit driven taste of shiraz heaven - the vineyard is part of the Paspaley company - and enjoyed the company of Canberra’s medical fraternity who came out to shine for this favourite Foundation. If you were in need of a doctor, every circumstance was covered, and all were happily fleeced for a donation in kind from auctions and raffles. Cam Webber’s new shopping list a work in progress.