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 $19.5 million for Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, and is the largest cycling fundraiser in Western Australia.

With your support, 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 new ways to diagnose cancer and other diseases, including tests that enable doctors to select the best approach for each patient. This enhances their ability to match individual patients to the treatments most likely to work for them with the aim of making personalised treatment a reality at last.

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, liver and leukaemia are underway at Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research 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 example of which include:

  • New methods to tackle pancreatic cancer
  • Devising a new way to target liver cancer using nanoparticles
  • Developing a tiny RNA, called a microRNA, to treat liver and head and neck cancer
  • Developing a novel way to treat triple negative breast cancer
  • Treating advanced melanoma with small RNAs

Best People at the Perkins

Funds raised through the MACA Ride to Conquer Cancer play an important role in enabling us to continue high class cancer research at the Perkins.

In partnership with you, the Perkins is committed to building and recruiting highly skilled research teams that will comprise of 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.

Examples of recent recruits to the Perkins include:

Professor Alistair Forrest
Professor Forrest recently relocated from Japan where he lead a large team of researchers in Tokyo. His research focuses on using cutting-edge DNA techniques to understand how cells work at a system level. The move to the Perkins has allowed him to begin to translate his research into clinically relevant questions such as identification of novel cancer biomarkers and identification of new drug targets for treating cancer.

Associate Professor Pilar Blancafort
The Blancafort laboratory focuses on the development of novel approaches to target cancers that are currently difficult to treat which have a poor outcome, such as triple negative breast cancers and ovarian cancers. Her laboratory is focused on developing innovative ways to stop the spread of these tumors and stop growth.


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

  • Nikon imaging and stereo microscopes
  • Applied Precision Delta Vision microscope

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 that, for example, 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 you are helping the Perkins to make an enormous difference to the future of thousands of Western Australian.