New chairman to drive HMRI research innovation agenda

New chairman to drive HMRI research innovation agenda

The Hunter Medical Research Institute has appointed a new chairman, with HMRI Foundation leader Kyle Loades replacing long-serving board member Glenn Turner in the key community-based role.

Glenn officially stepped down after providing invaluable strategic and fundraising service to the Institute during his 10-year tenure. As a mining and innovation entrepreneur, he helped set HMRI on a course for unparalleled growth in research capacity and reputation.

“Glenn brought energy, business acumen and a global vision to the board table, allowing HMRI to cement itself as a world-class entity in translational research. With it has come a raft of new resources and opportunities for researchers,” HMRI Director Professor, Michael Nilsson, said.

“He joined us in 2006, initially as Foundation Chair then for the past four years as Board Chairman. Since then, there has been a fourfold increase in total income and the number of affiliated researchers has more than trebled – a fantastic achievement.”

“We congratulate and thank Glenn sincerely, while also welcoming Kyle to the role.”

Glenn said he felt immensely satisfied to have worked on behalf of the community for so many committed and passionate researchers and supporters.

“It is gratifying to be able to point to the evidence that HMRI is culturally maintaining the zeal with which it was established, and repaying the community for their continuing and growing investment in us,” he said.

“HMRI is a wonderful exemplar of regional collaboration but it is also essential to acknowledge and applaud the excellence in medical research and health services delivered by our institutional stakeholders, University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Health.

“As I have opined many times, HMRI now defines the Hunter. Any glory in that reflects on all.”

As the incoming HMRI Chair, Kyle Loades also congratulated Glenn and said he would continue driving the Institute’s innovation agenda with a view to ‘future-proofing’ the research platform. In that aspect he sees parallels with his work as Chairman of motoring group NRMA.

“Both organisations have to be forward thinking in the technology sphere so that we can understand the challenges ahead and convert these into new opportunities for the community,” Kyle said. “Luckily we are experts, in the Hunter, at being agile and responsive.”

At the same time, HMRI would strongly focus on its core task of raising philanthropic funds to support research initiatives. “Every life saved and every illness prevented makes an enormous difference to the community, but it all starts with the funding that we gratefully receive from our donors,” Kyle added.

Kyle joined the HMRI Foundation in February 2014, bringing strong corporate connections, a wealth of commercial and governance experience and an intimate understanding of not-for-profit organisations. He had previously served two terms as Hunter Business Chamber president and 16 years as a director of the Hunter Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

IMAGE | Kyle Loades

Hunter Medical Research Institute

The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) is a translational research institute. Since 1998, its pioneering partnership with the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Local Health District has delivered key translational health and medical research and technology closely aligned to community health needs.

Throughout Newcastle and the Hunter, more than 1200 clinical and biomedical researchers and support staff are employed across seven HMRI Research Programs, striving to prevent, cure and treat a diverse range of serious illnesses by translating research findings made in the laboratory and through advanced imaging techniques, into real health treatments and preventative strategies for the community.

HMRI provides vital funding and facilities to fuel research, but the heart and soul of the Institute are people, the researchers, the generous donors and supporters, the committed volunteers, and the patients who participate in trials and ultimately benefit from the research results.

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