Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics
Delivering on Murdoch University’s commitment to excellence in health and medical research.
Using precision medicine to improve the health and wellbeing of the Australian community
The Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics (CMMIT) represents a unique partnership between Murdoch University and the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science.
Researchers from both organisations will combine their expertise to produce innovative and translational research that addresses urgent and complex issues facing healthcare today.
The CMMIT is poised to act as an engine to drive innovation and commercialisation at Murdoch University in the field of precision medicine.
Precision medicine has the potential to transform the treatment and management of chronic diseases as antibiotics have been in transforming the fight against infectious diseases.
CMMIT brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines to improve outcomes for patients suffering from an increasing range of diseases. The CMMIT’s researchers use the tools of genomics, genetics, epidemiology, immunology, exercise and cognitive sciences to explore the capacity of precision medicine to improve the health and wellbeing of patients.
Bringing science closer to patients
CMMIT is strongly focused on accelerating the uptake of findings from the laboratory and clinic into commercial outcomes, particularly new drugs and diagnostics that directly benefit patients. As such, the goals of the CMMIT closely align with government priorities at the State and Commonwealth levels.
The purpose of the Centre is to:
- Undertake cutting edge research that directly impacts on the health and wellbeing of patients
- Take findings from the laboratory and clinic and translating these into commercial products in the form of new drugs and diagnostics, or improvements in clinical practice and health policy
- Foster collaboration across the CMMIT’s research groups with the goal of increasing the scope and quality of the CMMIT’s research
- Develop new industry relationships
Collaboration is critical to success in research and the partnership created by the establishment of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics increases our capacity to shape the direction of medical research in Western Australia. Professor Eeva Leinonen, Murdoch University Vice Chancellor
The Centre’s research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), led by Professors Steve Wilton and Sue Fletcher has transformed the lives of DMD sufferers through the breakthrough discovery capable of overcoming the genetic defect underlying DMD. As a result, patients who otherwise would be wheelchair-bound from the age of 12 are still living full and active lives into their late teens.
One drug developed by Professors Steve Wilton and Sue Fletcher, Exondys 51TM (eteplirsen), licensed to the Boston-based pharmaceutical company, Sarepta Therapeutics, has now been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. It is in use in patients and two other AON-based drugs for DMD are in advanced clinical trial.
Our partnership with Murdoch University will extend the scope of our research to encompass an even greater range of diseases. Professor Alan Robson, Chair, Perron Institute
Precision Nucleic Acid Therapeutics
Dr Rakesh Veedu leads the development of novel therapeutic molecules that facilitate target-specific delivery of drugs or diagnostics to specific disease sites in the body.
Motor Neurone Disease
Dr Anthony Akkari and team are investigating new approaches to the treatment of the fatal motor neurone disease (MND), a disease affecting 350,000 people worldwide.
Professor Sulev Kõks is newly appointed to the CMMIT to probe the genetics and molecular pathology of Parkinson’s Disease – with the goal of improving the precision clinical management of patients.
Clinical Exercise and Cognition
Associate Professor Tim Fairchild will lead an experienced team of researchers who will explore how biomechanics, physiology, metabolism and cognition benefit the development of precision therapies.
Clinical Professors Allan Kermode and Bill Carroll (pictured) are exploring the clinical, laboratory, radiological, and genetic aspects of multiple sclerosis, which affects around 23,000 Australians.
Professor Ross Baker and Dr Jim Tiao (pictured) are working to address the unmet needs of patients who die or suffer from blood disorders as well as susceptibility to thrombosis and bleeding in response to anticoagulants or drugs that affect platelet function.
Researchers Merrilee Needham (pictured) and Frank Mastaglia are investigating the treatment, genetics and immuno-pathology of immune-mediated myositis, particularly inclusion body myositis.
Centre Director - Professor Steve Wilton
Professor Steve Wilton is a world-renowned researcher who together with Professor Sue Fletcher has made global breakthroughs in the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).
Professor Wilton’s research focuses on an increasing array of diseases, including spinal muscular atrophy, Pompe’s disease, motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis. Over 50 different diseases are currently being studied.
Steve Wilton is Director of both the Perron Institute – Western Australia’s oldest medical research institute – and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics.