Institute for Biomedical Materials and Devices opens at UTS

Friday, 09 February, 2018


The new Institute for Biomedical Materials and Devices (IBMD) has officially opened at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), with a vision to help scientists develop next-generation biomedical devices that meet the needs of patients and healthcare professionals.

The director of the institute is Professor Dayong Jin, who will spearhead its efforts to create small, stable, inexpensive devices for disease diagnosis that are as easy to use as smartphones are today. He will be joined by a team of mid-career research leaders including Professor Igor Aharonovich, Professor Milos Toth, Dr Olga Shimoni and Dr Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani.

“We’ve created molecular probes and microscopes to watch the inner workings of our immune system and find one cancer cell among millions of healthy cells,” said Professor Jin. “We’ve developed new tools to see how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

“Now is the time to take the next step: to turn these scientific discoveries into technologies and devices, to channel our research into industry and to create new job opportunities.”

The launch event was attended by three distinguished visiting scholars — former US energy secretary Professor Steven Chu, eminent Swiss chemist Professor Jean-Claude Bunzli and Korean nanobiotechnologist Dr Yung Doug Suh — representing a large network of research institutes currently collaborating with IBMD researchers. Professor Chu’s presence was particularly welcome, with Professor Jin claiming the Nobel Laureate’s study of single molecules and cells was a contributor in the application of nanotechnology and photonics technologies to solving global health issues — which is the signature of IBMD.

“Steven empowered us to create inexpensive devices for medical diagnosis and through global collaborations we’ve shown we can create new technologies to watch molecules at work,” Professor Jin said.

UTS Vice-Chancellor Professor Attila Brungs stated at the launch that health care is a key concern for Australians. He said the new institute will “play a crucial role in transforming advances in photonics and materials into revolutionary biomedical technologies to help address some of the world’s biggest health issues”.

“Professor Jin has a powerful vision for how physics, engineering, biology and medicine can come together to transform diagnosis and biological testing and I am certain that this new institute will provide both the academic and intellectual platforms required to make this vision a reality.”

Image caption: Nobel Laureate Professor Steven Chu speaks at the launch of the Institute for Biomedical Materials and Devices. Image credit: Matthew Duchesne.

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