The John Curtin School of Medical Research

The ANU John Curtin School of Medical Research is Australia’s national medical research institute. We excel in multidisciplinary, translational medical research in fields including immunology, cancer, genomics, neuroscience, mental health, infectious diseases, obesity and metabolic disorders.

Our research aims to understand and provide novel insights into diseases including cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and conditions such as epilepsy and vision impairment, amongst others. Research at JCSMR is organised within four departments including the ACRF Department of Cancer Biology and Therapeutics, Eccles Institute of Neuroscience, Genome Sciences and Immunology and Infectious Disease departments.

Each department is comprised of independent groups and laboratories. As an integral part of the ANU College of Health and Medicine, we are committed to cross-disciplinary research that will provide solutions to health problems which beset our community. In addition, we continue to pride ourselves on our commitment to the training and mentoring of the young medical researchers of the future.

In 2015, the School’s Professor Carola Vinuesa was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and Professors Simon Foote and Chris Parish became Fellows of the newly established Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Three of our researchers have received Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine for work conducted in the School.

Field sites & facilities

Explore some of the numerous of research sites and facilities established by our research schools in Australia and across the world. Researchers and students at ANU enjoy access to state-of-the-art equipment to help facilitate ground-breaking research.

Research projects

Browse research topics of the College of Science and the College of Health & Medicine with links to relevant researchers.

See our list of potential student projects to apply for PhB, Honours, PhD and other graduate degrees.


A child covers his ears.

Research story

Study shows link between PTSD and autism

People on the autism spectrum are predisposed to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a new study has shown.

Dr Chelisa Cardinez, left, and Rebecca Davey in a research lab at the John Curtin School of Medical Research

Research story

Gene discovery offers new hope for Aussies living with chronic skin disease

Scientists from The Australian National University have discovered a gene mutation is responsible for causing psoriasis.

Dr Julia Ellyard. Photo: Tracey Nearmy/ANU

News, Research story

Scientists show the importance of “putting the brakes on” cytokines to prevent autoantibodies and lupus

A new study has found that rare coding variants in a lupus risk gene could help understand how the immune system mistakenly targets the body's own tissues.

John Curtin School of Medical Research Director Elizabeth Gardiner poses for photographs at ANU in Canberra.

Academic profile

Ready for the challenge: New Director's ambition still burns

“Researchers are great people, but they live and survive in a tough environment," Professor Gardiner said.

First year PhD student, Yanran Fan, in her lab at the John Curtin School of Medical Research.

News, Research story

Sliding doors moment leads to PhD aimed at improving the lives of patients battling rare diseases

Yanran Fan always thought she’d become a lawyer. Instead, she's pursuing a PhD.

Platelet-red blood cell complex, in which a platelet (arrow) is attached to the surface of a red cell, viewed using scanning electron microscopy (bar length = 1 µm)

News, Research story

Scientists discover new function of platelets that remove old red blood cells

Researchers at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) have found a new function of platelets apart from their known role in preventing bleeding and helping us fight off infections.

Associate Professor Simon Jiang in his lab at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU.

News, Research story

The power of personalised care

The benefits of personalised medicine programs extend far beyond the individual patient.

ANU graduate and melanoma researcher Phoebe Doohan in her lab at JCSMR, the ANU College of Health & Medicine at ANU in Canberra.


How our own immune system can help fight cancer

The findings mean patients could respond better to immunotherapy treatment. 

Sarah Mann leads the JCSMR choir during an end of year concert.


JCSMR researchers sing to a different tune

The magic of song is helping a group of ANU College of Health and Medicine academics escape the demands of research.


Two more ANU Rhodes Scholars sets new record for Australian universities

ANU graduates will help fight infectious diseases and neurodegeneration having just won prestigious Rhodes Scholarships.