Doors open for new medical research

Tuesday, 14 August, 2012

Lifesaving medical research received a major boost yesterday, with the opening of the final stage of The John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) at The Australian National University (ANU).

Opened by Dr Andrew Leigh MP, Federal Member for Fraser, on behalf of the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for Health, the $60 million third stage of the school will build the nation’s research capacity in critical areas.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young said, “The new building will house state-of-the-art clinical research suites and laboratory space designated for clinical and biomedical research into fields including genomics, translational and personalised medicine, pharmacogenetics and vision, and neurological and sensory diseases including memory loss, epilepsy and blindness.

“The John Curtin School is one of Australia’s foremost medical research institutes - our researchers have won Nobel Prizes, the Prime Minister’s Science Prize and the Life Scientist of the Year award among many other accolades.

“These facilities will enable us to continue expanding our understanding of how the human body works and how we can combat some of the major diseases of our time.”

The new facility finalises a three-stage redevelopment at JCSMR, with the entire build costing $144 million.

“This is a very exciting time for our research school,” said JCSMR Acting Director Professor Chris Parish.

“We are now well equipped to answer fundamental questions about disease development and to use this knowledge to tackle some of the world’s major health problems. JCSMR is home to some of the best minds in Australian biomedical research and the new facilities will enable us to continue our world-class research and also to attract more of the country’s best to work at ANU.”

The building has been designed by Lyons Architects and built by the Canberra-based Hindmarsh Construction Australia. The facade of the buildings incorporates panels depicting the double helix and the chemical building blocks of DNA, reflecting the nature of the research at JCSMR. The building has won a number of awards for design and construction.

Members of the public will be able to see the new laboratories in action during the JCSMR Open Day on 25 August from noon-4 pm.

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