Posted by Cheryl Pisterman
Well perhaps a simple blood test cannot prevent dementia, however research being undertaken at WEHI (Walter and Eliza Hall Institute) is working to find a way that dementia can and will be diagnosed.  A very select group of Glenferrie Rotarians was hosted by the team in North Melbourne last Tuesday.
We enjoyed the great hospitality of some of the WEHI researchers and their Philanthropic Department - some members may remember Deb Carr coming when Dr Pelligrino spoke to the club about immunisation. We had a great opportunity to see labs and their technicians at work.  After the tour of the labs, we were part of a presentation on the research being conducted on dementia: its causes, how it could be prevented, but more importantly how it can be determined by a simple blood test. It was shared in language that we the layperson could understand but the one important message that I am sure we all received was that dementia is just not forgetting where your phone is. Or "where did I put my keys"? 
Researchers are working collaboratively with other entities, sharing their knowledge, their facilities, etc. After the presentation we adjourned to the canteen where the hospitality continued.  And what a canteen - views out to the north and west from the top floor.  
It was disappointing that some members did not understand that this was a Club Function despite it being on a non-meeting night. Bookings were limited due to the fact that the facility could not fit large numbers in the labs with a maximum of 25. WEHI organised parking for us on site - and yes, it is a bit difficult to find in the middle of a construction site - unnamed members did miss the exit floor. Hopefully, they were rescued by Megan from WEHI and will be at our next meeting.
We learned a lot and we hope we will continue to have a relationship with WEHI for the future. Hopefully, they will be happy to see us again and other members will be able to share the amazing research facilities we have here in Melbourne of which WEHI is just a very small (but important) part.  The picture shows our group with Heather and Sarah (part of the WEHI team) in front of the display of historic memorabilia - what a difference between the microscopes of the period when Eliza Hall formed the charitable trust in memory of her husband in 1912 and those robots and technology of 2024.