$18 million science building puts Adelaide at leading edge

Thursday, 12 October 2000

A new building which will support research and education at the frontiers of science was opened at Adelaide University today by distinguished Australian scientist Sir Gustav Nossal.

The $18 million Molecular Life Sciences Building is home to the Department of Molecular Biosciences, a new department bringing together staff and students from the disciplines of biochemistry, genetics, microbiology and immunology. It will accommodate more than 30 research teams engaged in a range of leading-edge work, including stem cell replacement, novel vaccines and the Special Research Centre for the Molecular Genetics of Development.

The building - part of a $41 million development of the Lower Level site at the North Terrace campus - represents one of the biggest concentrations of molecular biology research and education in Australia.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Mary O'Kane said it would build on the University's existing scientific strengths and ensure that the University continued to be an international bioscience leader in the 21st century.

"This building is of major national and international significance in terms of the work that will be carried out here," Professor O'Kane said. "It represents a major investment in molecular biology, with an estimated $100 million in external research funding going into the Department over the next 10 years."

Professor O'Kane said the new building was one aspect of a range of top-class scientific research taking place across the University's campuses at North Terrace, Waite, Roseworthy and Thebarton. She said the research across a wide range of the biological sciences included work in wine, food, nutrition, medicine and the environment, all of which was contributing to Adelaide's international reputation as a knowledge centre.

"Adelaide University has also been an Australian pioneer in the development and commercialisation of biotechnological research, with two successful spin-off companies, BresaGen and GroPep, floated on the Australian Stock Exchange," she said.

University Chancellor Mr Robert Champion de Crespigny said the new Department could make a significant contribution to Australia's future through commercial applications of scientific advances.


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