About HMRI

What began in 1998 as a bold vision to improve community wellbeing in the Hunter Region of NSW has today evolved into a world-class institute with 1600 medical researchers, students, and support staff striving to prevent, treat and defeat a multitude of serious illnesses.  Over 25 years later the health and wellbeing of the community remain at the heart of all we do.

Delivering patient-focused translational research is our major goal, which means seed funding start-up studies, supporting larger-scale research projects whilst fostering a flow of information and innovation back and forth between scientists, clinicians and public health professionals. Attracting top health and medical specialists and collaborating with other leading institutes and industries helps to fast-track the provision of new and better health solutions.

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities

Our Research Priorities

HMRI’s research priorities have broad themes which reflect our purpose, our unique position as a leading medical research institute located in regional Australia, and our responsibility to Indigenous, regional and rural populations. HMRI focuses on the translation of research for the benefit of human health and addresses:

Priority Populations
Which encompasses research that improves the health and wellbeing of our vulnerable communities, Indigenous peoples, and regional and rural populations. 

Healthy Life Course
Which encompasses research that improves health and wellbeing across every stage of life. 

Healthy Future
Which encompasses research that responds to current and emerging challenges affecting the health and wellbeing of our communities through innovative approaches, technologies and translation.


HMRI is led by Director Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin.

In partnership with the University of Newcastle and Hunter New England Local Health District, HMRI’s clinical, biomedical and public health researchers work across multiple campuses and 19 key research programs.


  • Active Living
  • Asthma and Breathing
  • Brain Neuromodulation
  • Cancer Detection and Therapy
  • Drug Repurposing and Medicines
  • Equity in Health and Wellbeing
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Healthcare Transformation
  • Healthy Minds
  • Heart and Stroke
  • Infection
  • Immune Health
  • Infertility and Reproduction
  • Injury and Trauma
  • Mothers and Babies
  • Population Health
  • Precision Medicine
  • Surgical and Perioperative Care
  • Women's Health

HMRI researchers rely on philanthropic donations from the community, along with Australian Government funding, to support research projects, equipment, scholarships, fellowships and travel grants. Internal grant funding is allocated through a rigorous review process and invested in areas of highest community need.
Infrastructure funding is provided by the NSW Office for Medical Research through the Medical Research Support Program, and the NSW Department of Health through the Capacity Building Infrastructure Grant Program.


Hunter Medical Research Institute is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 27 081 436 919​