Dollars At Work


Since 2012, thanks to the extraordinary commitment and dedication of thousands of Riders and Crew, the MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer® has raised over $27.5 million for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and is the largest cycling fundraiser in Western Australia.

With your support, the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is on a mission to improve the health of Western Australians through cutting-edge research that translates into new ways to prevent and treat disease. Closely linked to the major teaching hospitals, the Perkins is uniquely positioned to fast -track the development of new treatments and better ways to diagnose disease.

The world-leading doctors, researchers, scientists and clinicians at the Perkins use Ride funds to support cancer research, acquire new equipment and facilities, and retain experts to lead this vital work.


Several life-saving cancer research programs which include breast, prostate, melanoma, colon, head and neck and liver are underway at the Perkins as a result of Ride-funded dollars.

The purpose of these programs is to test new ideas for tackling cancer, promote new collaborations between cancer research teams and increase cross-fertilisation of ideas. Money raised through The Ride is enabling the continuity of these promising new programs, some examples of which include:

  • a new way to treat breast cancer cells using nanoparticles.
  • a new drug that increases blood flow to cancers increasing their response to chemotherapy.
  • a new way to make liver cells from stem cells.
  • a new genetic cause of prostate cancer due to an abnormality in the energy powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondrion.
  • new ways to treat triple negative breast cancer.
  • new ways of treating advanced melanoma with small RNAs.


The funds raised through the MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer play an important role in enabling us to continue to attract and retain high-class cancer researchers to the Perkins. Furthermore Ride funds allow the Perkins to make strategic investment decisions that leverage further grant funding opportunities.

A great example of this is Professor Alistair Forrest who the Perkins were able to recruit back home to Perth in 2014 with funding through The Ride. Professor Alistair Forrest, an Australian Eureka Prize recipient, and his multi-disciplinary team of scientists and clinicians will establish a world-class single-cell sequencing facility at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Professor Alistair Forrest’s work was recognised in 2017 with a $6.75m grant from The Cancer Research Trust to develop a ground-breaking new facility in collaboration with 18 other research institutes, which will deliver major insights into tumour biology, cancer progression, methods for earlier detection and innovative new ways to kill cancer cells.

Ride funds have also supported Dr Brendan Kennedy from the Perkins Biomedical Engineering program. Dr Kennedy and his team have developed innovative technologies to reduce the need for secondary surgeries for breast cancer patients. These tools have since attracted commercial funding and are being tested in clinical trials. ­­­

Over the past six years, more than 50 Perkins researchers have been supported by funds raised by The Ride, often providing a vital safety net for our brightest and most talented medical researchers who often find themselves without grant funding for short periods of time.

In 2016, Ride funding supported a high quality cancer laboratory head who had previously received NHMRC and the National Heart Foundation funding. Her research is focussed on finding new treatments for cancer by developing a targeted delivery platform. We are very pleased that this investigator has recently been awarded a four-year Cancer Council Fellowship to continue her important work at the Perkins. This is an example of how the funds are used to retain the best people and an example of excellent leverage.

In partnership with you, the Perkins is committed to building and recruiting highly skilled research teams that will comprise doctors, scientists, statisticians and other support areas, working together in large teams. These teams will translate their knowledge and discoveries into better treatments and outcomes by helping to improve our understanding of how cancers work and why they develop. This will improve our ability to match individual patients to the treatments most likely to work for them.


Funds raised through the Ride have enabled the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research to purchase state-of-the-art equipment needed to carry out the vital research programs now underway.

Funds have also been used to employ staff to operate the core research facilities used by all cancer researchers, a critical aspect of performing high quality cancer research. These include machines, for example, that allow us to separate cancer cells derived from patient samples into single cells for more detailed study using a “cell sorter”.

Thank you so much! In partnership with the Perkins, you are making an enormous difference to the future of thousands of Western Australians.


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