The reception recognised the generous support of Cure4CF donors, volunteers and partners. During the event two very special awards were presented by the Governor to people who played an instrumental role in progressing towards the goal of finding a cure for cystic fibrosis.
The first award was presented to the Adelaide CF Gene Therapy Research Group who work from the Allan Scott CF Research Laboratory. This award recognised their commitment and dedication to working toward developing a gene therapy cure for cystic fibrosis over the past 15 years.
The Research Group, led by Dr. David Parsons, and core members Dr. Trish Cmielewski and Dr. Martin Donnelley have experienced periods of exciting breakthroughs as well as times when they were just weeks away from running out of all funding. Amidst it all, they have tirelessly pursued their goals and are globally recognised for their development and pioneering use of lentiviral gene vectors, developed specifically with a view to correcting the defective CF gene in lung cells and with the aim of curing the lung disease caused by cystic fibrosis. The group have also generously overseen and supported numerous Masters and PhD students, a number of whom have gone on to establish their own reputations nationally and internationally.
Cure4CF Chairman, David Coluccio said at the reception, “It is an honour and a privilege to be associated with and work with such talented, dedicated and amazingly humble people and we will do everything within our power to ensure their work continues and progresses”.
A second award was presented to Mr Gregory Oke. More than 10 years ago, when at hospital for one of Greg’s son Harrison, who has Cystic Fibrosis, regular visits, he learned about some of the exciting research being pioneered by the Adelaide CF Gene Therapy Research Group. Greg quickly grasped the potential of what the researchers were trying to do and decided that the best way he could help find a cure was to raise money to further the work of the research group. For a number of years he did this almost on his own – relentlessly utilising his own professional and personal networks to generate a funding stream.
Cure4CF has reached a number of incredible milestones toward finding a cure for cystic fibrosis achieved only because of Greg’s work. In the early 2000’s, Greg was the driving force behind convincing the late Allan Scott OAM to donate $500,000 toward the construction of a brand new purpose built laboratory for the exclusive use of the research team, the laboratory opened in 2012. In 2009, he formally established the Cure4CF Foundation Limited of which he was a founding director and on whose board he continues to serve today. It is important to acknowledge both Greg and his family for their contribution toward funding and finding the cure for cystic fibrosis, without people with the passion and vision to turn the dream of a cure into a reality like Greg, research towards finding a cure would not be where it is today.
We acknowledge and thank each and every supporter, researcher, family and friends of those involved with Cure4CF Foundation in finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.