Welcome to Hudson News summer 2020.

What a year 2020 has been. I hope you and your loved ones have remained safe and well despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been keenly felt in Victoria, especially Melbourne, the home of our Institute.

Many of you, like us, have had to adapt to the challenging and changing circumstances of 2020; working from home, juggling work with remote learning for school-age children, perhaps suffering employment pressures, and coping with isolation from friends and family.

I’m proud to tell you that our research into treatments for COVID-19 has advanced since our last edition. We have several projects underway, including clinical trials based on our discoveries. You can read about these in the article, Progressing our COVID-19 research for patients.

While we are working hard to accelerate our work on treatments for acute cases of COVID-19, I am mindful the pandemic has sadly wrought a toll on millions of lives around the globe. Not only in terms of death, but also in lingering symptoms arising from the long-term impact of severe inflammation. This is an issue that will need further clinical research and trials in the coming months and years.

Aside from the threat to our health, the major disruption to our everyday life caused by the pandemic has thrown the careers of many medical researchers into doubt. Women and early-to-mid-career researchers have been disproportionately affected as many juggle caring responsibilities. This is compounded by the uncertain economic climate adversely affecting fundraising and philanthropy.

In our Institute, I have watched my colleagues strive to continue working while caring for babies and toddlers or homeschooling young children. You can learn more about how we coped with this, and even found some silver linings, in our Q&A with researchers, Finding the right balance.

While COVID-19-related research is of utmost priority for the world, we also need to remember that fundamental research across all disease areas must continue. Cancer patients still need and deserve hope for treatments and cures. In this edition, we have highlighted the work of Dr Jason Cain and his team, who have made fantastic inroads into finding a target for emerging therapies to treat cancers, including small cell lung cancer and childhood tumours.

The support of the community means everything to us, and now more than ever the community has looked to science to combat the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were particularly thrilled to receive letters from the students of Malvern Primary School in Melbourne sending us messages of appreciation and resilience. You can also enjoy some of these in the article Kids thank their scientist superheroes.

To ensure the work of all our researchers can continue, we would be grateful if you could consider any financial support you might be able to offer. Any donation, large or small, is welcome and could make a huge difference to the lives of many.

It might just be the greatest gift you give this festive season.

We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday.

Professor Elizabeth Hartland
Director and CEO

From the issue…