Our History

Our History

SA Pathology has a rich history of diagnostic pathology and research over 75 years. Established as the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science in the late 1930’s, it was an era which saw political and community leaders introduce significant reform, with a focus on improving public health.

Situated near the Royal Adelaide, South Australia's principal teaching hospital, the Institute began as an offshoot of the hospital laboratories. RAH Superintendent and Dean of Medicine Sir Trent Champion de Crespigny created an organisation combining laboratory services with pathology training and medical research.  

Changes occurred in the 1970’s with a redefinition of IMVS services, resulting in the divisions of Forensic Pathology and Biology relocating and evolving into what is now the Forensic Science Centre. The 1980’s saw stronger relationships with the RAH and the University of Adelaide which allowed the IMVS to diversify activity across emerging areas of pathology.

A later review recommended creation of separate science research laboratories, proposing that any new developments be integrated into IMVS and the hospital, which led to the establishment of the Hanson Institute in the early 1990’s.

The IMVS experienced further change in 2008 in a merger with the pathology department of two other hospitals, the Women’s and Children’s and Flinders Medical Centre’s South Path, when the organisation was renamed SA Pathology. The core business continued to be diagnostic pathology for public health but adhering to its founder’s original vision, integrating pathology with clinical training and medical research.

SA Pathology continued to interact with the private sector, providing high quality patient services while attracting research grants. One of SA Pathology’s key strengths, it ensured the organisation stayed competitive, efficient and relevant in the services it provided.

The Centre for Cancer Biology was established within SA Pathology in 2008 as a hub for innovative science. Currently hosting over twenty group leaders and their teams, the CCB is an internationally recognized cancer research centre where research teams actively form alliances with pharmaceutical companies to foster knowledge and advance new treatments.

Our Future

The benefits of supporting research will be further enhanced in electronic linkages across health facilities through implementation of the Enterprise Patient Administration System (now called Sunrise) and also in advanced computer technology which connects SA Pathology’s laboratory information systems across all its sites. Introduction of these new e-Health systems will streamline services for both clinicians and patients and set the stage for the next chapter in SA Pathology’s story.

SA Pathology has been intimately involved with the planning of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), where our role will remain a central one in public health care.

Relationships with researchers, research facilities and clinical services result in a more responsive and efficient service to meet the growing demand for diagnostic pathology delivery for South Australians.

These partnerships create benefits for the wider community, enabling SA Pathology to achieve improved health outcomes for our patients and our population.