Mrs Terri Irwin AM has officially launched the Eskitis Institute’s Sponsor a Sample campaign in which everyone has the opportunity to take on the role of a medical researcher.

Terri proudly handed over $100 to “adopt” one of the samples stored inNature Bank, a collection of more than 45,000 plants and marine invertebrates. They have been collected in Queensland, Tasmania, Papua New Guinea, China and Malaysia.

Scientists at Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery test these samples to see if they have within them compounds that could be the key to beating some of the world’s most debilitating diseases, including malaria, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, HIV and Alzheimer’s.

Each sponsor receives a certificate identifying their particular sample, its species name and where it was collected. They will also be updated on the results of research on that sample and how it might potentially lead to new treatments.

Terri said she was delighted to launch the campaign and she is looking forward to Eskitis Institute researchers coming to the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Cape York to continue their collection work

“How cool would it be if your sample was the one that worked; if it was the one that led to a cure for cancer?” said Terri.

Eskitis Institute Director, Professor Ron Quinn AM said natural products have formed the basis of many of the drugs discovered in the past 25 years and it’s vital that this precious work continue.

“Nature Bank at Griffith University’s Eskitis Institute is a huge potential source of desperately needed new medicines,” Professor Quinn said.

“With the support of our sponsors we can make a real difference to reducing the global burden of disease.”

ToSponsor a Samplego to the Eskitis Institute link.(