The Victorian Women’s Football League is proud to announce our support for the St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.

St Vincent’s Institute (SVI) is one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes. Since it’s founding in 1958, the Institute has been at the forefront of medical research advances, both in Australia and internationally.

So why has the VWFL decided to support SVI?

Longtime supporter of the VWFL and SVI board memberSusan Alberti feels as strongly about the importance of the SVI’s research as she does about women’s footy. Susan is a fabulous supporter of the VWFL and we are thrilled in turn to be supporting SVI in 2013.

The VWFL will host our annual ‘Women in Football’ lunch on Saturday 6 July where we will promote and fundraise for SVI.

Scientists at SVI conduct medical research into the cause, prevention and treatment of common diseases that affect the health of Australians.

Diseases studied at SVI include:

• Type 1 diabetes

• Obesity and type 2 diabetes

• Heart disease

• Bone diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis

• Cancer and the spread of cancer

• Infectious diseases such as Hepatitis and AIDS

• Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders

Six Australians are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes every day, many of them children. SVI has the biggest group of type 1 diabetes researchers in Australia, who are working to find out why the disease occurs (which genes are involved), how it happens (how insulin-producing cells are killed) and finding ways of preventing or curing the disease.

Researchers at SVI helped develop the Australian Islet Transplantation Program, in which patients with difficult-to-control type 1 diabetes are transplanted with insulin- secreting islets from organ donors. Since 2007, seventeen patients have been transplanted and eight of these no longer need to inject insulin. While this Program is only suitable for certain people with type 1 diabetes, valuable offshoots from the Program are forwarding research into how the disease develops in the first place. For example, having received islets from a donor with type 1 diabetes, SVI researchers were able, in a world first, to isolate the cells that are responsible for the destruction of the islets. They are now using this unique resource to try and understand the disease process better and find new ways to prevent it.