University scores another biotech success

Friday, 31 May 2002

The University of Adelaide will be a key partner in the Federal Government's $43.5 million new Biotechnology Centre of Excellence announced yesterday (Thursday).

The announcement comes just two weeks after the University's successful bid to host the $63 million Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics and is further recognition of the University's standing at the forefront of research in the biological sciences.

The new Centre of Excellence will consolidate research and development efforts across Australia in stem cell biology and medicine. It will bring together the two most substantial groups in the field - Monash University's Centre for Stem Cells and Tissue Repair (which will host the new Centre) and the research team led by Professor Peter Rathjen at the University of Adelaide. The Adelaide-based company BresaGen Ltd, a spin-off from the University, will be one of two commercial partners in the Centre.

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor Professor Cliff Blake AO said the University's participation in the Centre - and its successful bid for the Plant Functional Genomics Centre - demonstrated how Adelaide was continuing to "punch above its weight" in research terms.

"These successes underline the tremendous quality of the research being conducted here in Adelaide," he said. "Often this is recognised more readily by other states than it is here in South Australia.

"Currently, the University of Adelaide receives more research funding (on a per capita basis) from the National Health and Medical Research Council than any other Australian university. In November 2001, it was awarded more than $25.7 million for 37 research projects ranging across the departments of dentistry, medicine, molecular biosciences, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, pathology, pharmacology, physiology, psychiatry, psychology, surgery, and across the teaching hospitals."

Dr Jurgen Michaelis, CEO of Bio Innovation SA, the State Government's biotechnology industry development body, says the University's involvement in the Centre will bring real commercial benefit to the State.

"Being a core partner in the only Australian Biotechnology Centre of Excellence is recognition of the cutting-edge research undertaken at the University of Adelaide over many years. It will lead to further product development by the Adelaide-based company BresaGen, and will encourage the development of other spin-off companies here in Adelaide, contributing to the employment growth in our thriving bioscience industry."


Contact Details

Professor Edwina Cornish
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5665

Dr. Jurgen Michaelis
Business: +61 8 8217 6447

Professor Peter Rathjen
Executive Dean
Faculty of Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5650
Mobile: 0422 007 811

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762