The Centre

What is the Ian Frazer Centre?

The Ian Frazer Centre is an innovative research centre looking to accelerate children’s cancer breakthroughs and hasten the delivery of better treatments to patients.

Under the guidance of Professor Ian Frazer – a pioneering cancer researcher, world leading immunotherapy expert, and credited with co-inventing Gardasil, the world’s first vaccine for cancer – the Centre will be the first dedicated to children’s immunotherapy research in the country.

To date, children have not benefited from all advances in cancer immunotherapy to the same extent as adults. This state-of-the-art Centre will conduct desperately needed research to revolutionise the ability to treat children with cancer using this approach.

Cancer kills more children than any other disease, and while survival rates have improved, children still die from cancer. Now is time to address the gap.

Bringing together researchers and clinicians with expertise across the full translational research pathway, the Centre will see treatments that are being developed in labs move through to application in clinical practice.

Professor Ian Frazer AC

Professor Ian Frazer is a pioneering cancer researcher, world-leading immunotherapy expert, and credited with coinventing Gardasil™, the world’s first vaccine for cancer.

Foundation President of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Chair of the Advisory Board for the Medical Research Future Fund, Australian of the Year in 2006, Recipient of the Prime Ministers Prize for Science, Awarded the Balzan Prize, in 2008, Fellow of the Royal Society of London and appointed Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.

“The Centre aims to find new ways to harness immunotherapy, and ensure current clinical research is translated into a new era of children’s cancer treatments."

– Professor Ian Frazer AC

Professor Di Yu

Professor Di Yu has been appointed as the Centre Director, using his expert knowledge of immunotherapy to lead major research programs and guide various collaborations for clinical translation. Professor Yu is the inaugural Chair of Paediatric Immunotherapy within the Child Health Research Centre of the University of Queensland and a Professor of Immunology at the University of Queensland Frazer Institute.

He received his PhD from Australian National University in 2007 and postdoctoral training at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research from 2008-2010. Before joining the University of Queensland, he was a faculty member at Monash University from 2011-2016 and at Australian National University from 2017-2019.

Professor Yu is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and was awarded the prestigious Jian Zhou Medal by the Academy in 2021, in recognition of his landmark discoveries in revealing the differentiation and functions of T cells in human health and disease, research which has enabled new diagnosis and therapy for autoimmune, allergic, and infectious diseases, and the improvement for vaccine efficacy.

It’s hoped children with cancer will benefit from the outstanding promise of cancer immunotherapy research.