Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Much more cleverer

Advertising has always been an industry with big egos. When all you have to sell is your opinion, you have to hold your ideas in some value. But wandering through the halls and corridors of St Vincent's Institute, longtime Able & Baker client and serious medical research heavy hitter, you can meet some incredible people who'll make you feel quite small indeed.

While we're worrying about the size of a typeface or the nuances of an edit, these guys are quite literally solving cancer. And diabetes. And heart disease. And childhood obesity. And a dozen other things besides. SVI has long been a pioneer in the field of protein crystallography, a process by which biological processes are broken down into their most essential elements so that they might be examined in 3D. It's essential in the development of 'smart drugs'.

Researchers travel from across the world for the opportunity to work with SVI's director, Professor Tom Kay. People don't travel quite so far to work with foundation CEO Robin Berry, but he's a convivial fellow, sharp mind and excellent luncheon companion.

If you have any interest in the field, Robin or Tom regularly take tours through the institiute. They also run a series of high-profile and excellent dinners throughout the year (David Parkin, Daryl Jackson and Kevin Rudd being notable speakers). And of course, the researchers on the ground are always looking for funding, so donations are always, always welcome.
Oh, and they're nice enough to let us do their annual report for them each year. Photography by Andrew Wuttke. Special mention to the immensely patient Dr Anne Johnston.


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