Frontiers of single cell genomics medicine at Monash Health Translation Precinct

14 October 2015
Frank McGuire with members of the new Single Cell Genomics Centre (Courtsey of Hudson Institute)
Internationally-renowned biotechnology company Fluidigm have named the Monash Health Translation Precinct’s (MHTP) Single Cell Genomics Centre Australia’s first Single Cell Centre of Excellence, making it the first centre of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, Mr Frank McGuire MP, officially opened the centre at a launch event at the Hudson Institute before touring the state-of-the-art facility to learn about the ground-breaking research being enabled by the single-cell technology.

Hudson Institute Director, Professor Bryan Williams, says the Single Cell Genomics Centre was established through funding from an Australian Research Council LIEF (Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities) grant, through a partnership between Monash University, University of Melbourne, University of Newcastle and Hudson Institute of Medical Research.

“This collaboration with our partner universities and Fluidigm is providing our scientists with access to breakthrough developments in Fluidigm’s technology and increasing the opportunities for them to become world leaders in the field of genomics medicine,” said Professor Williams.

“This is now the only centre providing a single cell service to researchers who come to use the technology from all around Australia.”

Chief Investigator on the Single Cell Genomics Centre project, Professor Paul Hertzog, says these state-of-the-art technologies can accelerate scientific findings.

“Single cell genomics research is emerging as a driving force for discovery in life science, allowing scientists to isolate each individual cell from a diseased organ or tumour to establish which cells are actually causing the disease, or responding to a treatment,” Professor Hertzog said.

“By allowing scientists to analyse the transcription of thousands of genes at the single cell level, the researchers can identify different cell types that have, until now, remained out of reach. We are now able to discover new principles of how our organs function and how drugs work.”

The MHTP, a partnership between Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Monash University and Monash Health, brings together clinicians and scientists to directly translate research discoveries into greater prevention, diagnosis and treatments for the community’s greatest health challenges.

Before the event, Mr Frank McGuire MP toured MHTP’s brand new, federally funded $87.5 million Translational Research Facility (TRF), ahead of its opening in October this year.

“This world-leading facility provides researchers and clinicians with unprecedented opportunities to collaborate to make life-changing and life-saving discoveries,” said Mr McGuire.

“The strength of the partnership is its coordination and collaboration, critical themes behind the Victorian governments’ strategy to maximise the expertise of our international leaders in medical research.”

Stem Cells Australia's Professor Martin Pera and Associate Professor Jose Polo are members of the new Centre.

This story is republished with permission from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research.