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The Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation supporting medical research into Alzheimer’s disease.

Our mission is to support leading edge research that makes Alzheimer’s disease treatable and preventable. With the vital assistance of supporters we can do just that.

The Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation provides significant funding to a team of researchers including the research of internationally acclaimed researcher, Foundation Director of Research, and 2010 WA Australian of the Year, Professor Ralph Martins.

Our objective is to increase understanding of the causes of this devastating disease, develop an early diagnosis, and identify treatments and interventions aimed at:

  • Preventing the development of the disease
  • Delaying its onset
  • Slowing or stopping its progression
  • Improving treatments once the condition has developed

 

History

The McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation Inc. was established in 2001, and was renamed the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation in 2016. Many generous and committed individuals and organisations have been part of the history of the Foundation.

 

The Beginning

The Foundation’s story begins in the early 1990s when Ralph Martins first established a research laboratory at Hollywood Repatriation General Hospital.

Sir James McCusker provided vital funding through the University of Western Australia (UWA) to support student research projects under Professor Martins’ supervision which allowed for the significant expansion of Alzheimer’s research.

To meet the growing needs of the research activities, the Foundation purchased a new building in 2010 with funding support from LotteryWest for use as a research laboratory. A suite in the Hollywood Medical Centre also became the new administrative centre.

 

Collaboration

In 2001 Professor Martins was appointed Foundation Professor of Ageing and Alzheimer’s disease at Edith Cowan University (ECU) and retained an Adjunct Professorship at UWA.

Research activities now span three sites – one at ECU Joondalup and two in Nedlands. The McCusker Foundation funds a significant proportion of the research at ECU Joondalup through support of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Mental Health. In addition the Foundation provides fit for purpose facilities in Nedlands for the clinical arms of this ECU research.

 

Clinical Trials

Dr Clarnette, a geriatrician with a special interest in Alzheimer’s disease, and his clinical trials team joined the McCusker Foundation in 2001.

Dr Roger Clarnette is based at Fremantle Hospital and the Specialist Clinical suites onsite at Hollywood Private Hospital. Dr Clarnette has conducted clinical trials into potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease for over 20 years.

With support from the Foundation Dr Clarnette continues to lead trials in a unit known as the Clinical Trials Division.

 

A NEW NAME

Leading up to 2016, the Foundation had a period of rapid growth, followed by review and consolidation. This growth saw the Foundation substantially increase its turnover; sponsor clinical trials in its own right; and start to build a national presence, particularly through membership of the national Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Mental Health, as well as the establishment of clinical trials in Sydney.

Recognising this growth and following careful consideration, in early 2016 the Board adopted an exciting new strategic plan. This plan charted a new direction for the Foundation, building on its current base.

Recognising the past as well as future opportunities, and following considerable discussion with patron Malcolm McCusker QC and the McCusker family, the Board proposed the Foundation change its name. This would enable the Foundation to readily meet new goals and strengthen its reach.

The McCusker family were very much in favour of the change and continue their support of the Foundation and Professor Ralph Martins. This change was proposed and adopted at the Foundation’s AGM held on 28 April 2016.

From 1st December 2016 the Foundation become the Australian Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.