Monash University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, welcomed Prime Minister Turnbull to the launch of the Monash BDI, which brings together a collaborative research effort of great scale that will see more than 120 world-renowned research teams, 700 on site researchers, clinical partners and industry working together. The Monash BDI will be located at Monash’s Clayton campus where it will form a key part of the innovation precinct delivering crucial economic and social benefits to Victoria and the nation.
“Monash University has been Australia’s biomedical innovation leader for decades, from pioneering in-vitro fertilisation in the 1970s and developing the world’s first successful anti-flu drug in the 1980s to emerging advances in leukaemia treatment and novel therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease,” Professor Gardner said.
“With research programs spanning cancer, neuroscience, infection and immunity, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases as well as advances in stem cell research, the Monash BDI has the potential to transform millions of lives while also helping to drive economic growth,” Professor Gardner said.
Director of the Monash BDI, Professor John Carroll, said that almost every medical treatment is based on great discoveries that were made many years previously.
“The remit of the Monash BDI is to undertake great discovery research and decrease the time it takes to get these findings to the clinic,” Professor Carroll said.
“We do this by bringing our researchers together with industry partners and clinicians as early as possible.”
The Monash BDI addresses the needs of the six main global health problems: cancer; cardiovascular disease; development and stem cells; infection and immunity; metabolic disease and obesity; and neuroscience.
“More than 120 interdisciplinary research teams work synergistically across disease areas to bring expertise from immunology together with experts in cancer or diabetes. This allows us to discover new approaches to identifying the next generation of therapeutic medicines,” Professor Carroll said.
Professor Christina Mitchell, Dean of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash, pointed to the benefit of establishing the Monash BDI in Victoria.
“The Monash BDI provides us with a new way to align our research, from fundamental discovery right through translation to the clinic, in one of the fastest growing population corridors in the country,” Professor Mitchell said.
Professor Carroll said the Monash BDI currently has research income of more than $50 million, with $14 million coming from industry partners. With over 700 researchers, more than 200 international research collaborators and around 270 PhD students, the Monash BDI is one of the largest and most comprehensive medical research institutes in the Southern Hemisphere.