Burnet’s Centre for Biomedical Research heralds new era

Tracy Parish

10 April, 2013

Burnet’s Centre for Biomedical Research, to be based at its Melbourne headquarters, heralds a new era of integration for its laboratory-based researchers and creates exciting opportunities for potential vaccine and diagnostic development.

The existing Centres for Virology and Immunology will merge, with more than 120 researchers and students to work together in clusters of research disciplines in a highly competitive, innovative and cutting edge environment.

Burnet Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb described the new Centre as an important step forward.

“The new Centre will further invigorate our laboratory programs and provide many new opportunities for growth, cross-disciplinary collaboration, leadership and success,” Professor Crabb said.

“It will also provide a means to grow non-virus infectious disease research, such as tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, which are infectious diseases of global health significance.”

Internationally renowned infectious diseases researchers, Professor James Beeson and Professor Sharon Lewin will lead the Centre for Biomedical Research.

“The Centre will have a broad research program on infectious diseases, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, and cancer, as well as research into understanding how the immune system fights infectious diseases and cancer, or malfunctions in auto-immune diseases,” Professor Beeson said.

“This will be addressed through innovative and multidisciplinary research involving laboratory-based research, clinical studies of human disease and research at the population level.”

The aim of Burnet’s researchers is to develop new treatments, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and prevention strategies for diseases of major global importance. This includes the infectious diseases HIV, malaria, hepatitis B and C, TB, and influenza, as well as arthritis and lupus, and breast, ovarian, cervical and prostate cancer.

“It’s an exciting new phase for the Institute and the strong emphasis on closer collaboration between our research teams will definitely lead to significant outcomes,” Professor Lewin said.

Former Co-Head of the Centre for Virology, Professor Suzanne Crowe AM has been appointed Associate Director (Clinical Research) and will also join the Institute’s Executive Committee.

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Andrea Eakins

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