3 August 1999

Governor to tour cutting-edge gene research centres

Queensland Governor Major General Peter Arnison today will visit research laboratories associated with the University of Queensland's planned $100m Institute for Molecular Bioscience at St Lucia at 3pm.

The Governor will be shown state-of-the-art research facilities in core Institute groups including the Centres for Cellular and Molecular Biology and Drug Design and Development (3D Centre) and the Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF).

3D Centre Deputy Director Associate Professor Paul Alewood said that key Institute for Molecular Bioscience research programs included the identification of disease targets using genomics (DNA analysis) through to development of new pharmaceutical agents.

"The Governor will tour genomic, molecular modelling and structural biology facilities. He will preview some exciting recent developments underway in this biotechnology precinct which is poised to become the hub of the biotechnology industry in Queensland," he said.

Dr Alewood said that rather than wait for completion of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience building in 2002, core Institute groups were keen to begin acting together and plans were well underway to form a virtual Institute.

"Cutting-edge research programs and administration activities are the key focus of initial planning," he said.

"The Centre for Drug Design and Development recently completed a $350,000 renovation of its level seven and eight laboratories in the Gehrmann building at the University while awaiting construction of the IMB."

The Institute development has been funded by the University, State and Federal Governments and CSIRO. Earlier this year, Premier Peter Beattie announced Institute operational funding of $77.5m over 10 years. The design and construction of the new Institute building will be coordinated by Daryl Jackson & Associates of Melbourne.

Further information: Ruth Drinkwater, Centre for Drug Design and Development, telephone 3365 1264.