University welcomes ACMD funding announcement

University of Melbourne image.
The University of Melbourne has welcomed today’s budget announcement which will see $30 million allocated to a new biomedical medical research facility at St Vincent’s Hospital.

The University of Melbourne has welcomed today’s $30 million federal budget announcement for the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD).

The funding would be used to build a new biomedical centre at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Jim McCluskey said the new building would be the first of its kind in Australia.

“For the first time, Australia would have a medical research facility that enables medical engineers, researchers and doctors to co-locate in the same building,” Professor McCluskey said.

“Just by having these people collaborating side-by-side in one location should deliver better patient outcomes. It would give engineers more insight into the problems that clinicians deal with, and it will give clinicians a better understanding of the skills needed to solve their problems.”

Professor McCluskey said today’s budget announcement follows other recent investments in stem cell and regenerative medicine, and new support for enhanced immunotherapy at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and drug development at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

“The University of Melbourne and its partners anchor the leading biomedical precinct in Australia. New partnerships like the Memorandum of Understanding the University recently signed with Illumina, the world’s leading genomics company, allow the University to leverage its national leadership into global competitiveness – translating our discoveries for better health.”

Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Dean and ACMD board member Shitij Kapur said the new building is expected to create the next generation of researchers and clinicians.

“The ACMD would create a unique learning environment because medical students from the University of Melbourne would be embedded in the new building,” Professor Kapur said.

“It would give students unprecedented access to engineers, researchers and doctors who are working at the cutting edge of medical discovery. This would create a learning environment that would be unmatched anywhere in Australia and very few places around the world.”

The University of Melbourne is the lead partner in the ACMD. Other partners are St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, Australian Catholic University, University of Wollongong, Centre for Eye Research Australia and the Bionics Institute.

“This AMCD is a truly collaborative effort between all of the partners,” Professor Kapur said. “It promises to be a great example of what can be achieved when collective resources work together to improve people’s health.”