Benefactors welcomed at the Centre for Personalised Immunology

18 May 2015

Benefactors Cynthia Harvey and her husband Gary Vipond were welcomed this month at the Centre for Personalised Immunology (CPI) at The John Curtin School of Medical Research.

Visiting from Queensland, they met with Directors Professor Matthew Cook and Professor Carola Vinuesa and were given a tour of the school, enabling them to see first-hand how their contributions to The Alan Harvey Research Endowment had helped researchers.

The Endowment has raised over $100,000 for research into CVID (Common Variable Immune Deficiency). Some of the funds have been used to purchase a Neon Transfection system, a next generation electroporation device that is highly efficient at transfection of difficult-to-transfect cells. This system is needed to test the function of specific gene variants involved in immune disease. Funds will also support genome sequencing of immunodeficient patients, providing a foundation for further research on genes that cause CVID.

“We very much enjoyed our visit and appreciated the time you took out of your busy schedules to speak with us and show us around. We were impressed and trust that you are able to continue your very important work,” Cynthia, sister of the late Alan Harvey, said.

Photo supplied: Carola Vinuesa, Cynthia and Gary Vipond & Matthew Cook

About the Alan Harvey CVID Research Endowment:

This Endowment was established by the Harvey family in memory of Alan (Al) Harvey who graduated from ANU with a Bachelor of Forestry (Hons) in 1973. His career spanned 37 years with Queensland Forestry, retiring as General Manager of Operations in 2006. Alan was a consummate professional, his contributions to forestry are vast and his involvement in the development of the world's most advanced plantation yield simulation system (ply sim) was an outstanding achievement.

Alan contracted Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID) in the early 1980's, which was successfully treated for 10 years until he was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Unfortunately, this resulted in a steady physical decline, culminating in his passing in 2009.

As a memorial to Alan's example of courage, strength, perseverance and achievement, his family, friends and colleagues established this Endowment to support CVID research to better understand this disease, and to develop techniques for prevention and treatment.