FIONA Elsey Cancer Research Institute celebrated 20 years of fighting cancer in Ballarat in a black tie event on Friday evening.
The three-course dinner featured special guest in visiting John Turner Professorship professor Paul Jubinsky from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. Professor Jubinsky was FECRI’s second visiting professor, following on from Professor Jan-Inge Henter of leading medical university Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, who spent time at FECRI in October.
A cancer research centre in her hometown was Fiona Elsey’s vision before she died with cancer in 1991, aged 14. Professor George Kannourakis, FECRI’s honourary director, had been Fiona’s oncologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital and he helped the Elsey family to care for her at home.
After early struggles, the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Laboratory was opened in late February 1998 in a paint shed at St John of God Hospital Ballarat, later taking over a disused boiler house.
FECRI moved into its home with state-of-the-art laboratories in Ballarat Tech Park in early 2015.