Generous gift supports Charles Perkins Centre

6 June 2014

A $3 million gift from prominent University supporters Judith and David Coffey will support early career researchers at the Charles Perkins Centre.

The generous gift, announced last night at the official opening of the $385 million Charles Perkins Centre research and education hub, will support research in the Judith and David Coffey Life Lab and Integrative Systems Laboratory. The Life Lab was established following a $2 million donation by Judith and David Coffey in 2012.

The donation brings the amount raised from donors for the Charles Perkins Centre to more than $58 million.

The unique research and teaching opportunities created by the centre have inspired many far-sighted philanthropists to make significant contributions towards its work. These include establishing a record number of academic chairs, providing scholarships and helping to transform research into results.

Professor David James, the Leonard P Ullmann Chair in Metabolic Systems Biology, said the generosity of donors enabled the centre to move beyond discovery.

"We can now take those discoveries into the clinic and the community for the betterment of mankind," Professor James said.

The Charles Perkins Centre aims to ease the burden of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and related conditions. The multidisciplinary structure of the centre has the potential to revolutionise the way research and teaching is conducted, both in Australia and internationally.

Other generous donations to the University and applied for the purposes of the Centre include:

  • $20.6 million from the sale of a donated Picasso painting
  • $15 million bequest from Elwin à Beckett
  • $5 million gift from the Australian Diabetes Council
  • $1 million gift from Sir Michael Hintze

These gifts have funded:

  • Seven chairs to help recruit, retain and honour the world's leading academics
  • 22 Summer Research Scholarships allowing our brightest students to experience advanced research training opportunities
  • Support for 10 postgraduate students to undertake research
  • One Life Lab to create a unique environment for understanding complex systems
  • One research and development incubator fund to explore commercially viable applications for improving individual and population health.

With every gift to the Charles Perkins Centre donors become part of INSPIRED - the Campaign to support the University of Sydney, which is funding the pursuit of ideas that will shape the world in which we live.

INSPIRED - the Campaign to support the University of Sydney is the largest fundraising campaign for any university in Australia. It aims to raise $600 million from 40,000 donors by the end of 2017. As part of the campaign, the Charles Perkins Centre aims to raise $100 million.

To date, more than $388 million has been raised through the campaign.

To find out the ways in which you can be involved, visit