Equipment Grants to fund critical research equipment across School

Almost $580,000 has been awarded, including funding for a nano particle synthesis system that could be used to discover new mRNA vaccines or other nucleic acid therapeutics.

The School of Biomedical Sciences has received a significant boost to clinical research equipment, which will support its cutting-edge work to advance human health.

“Over half a million dollars was invested to enhance research capacity within the School with support from NHMRC and the University” says Professor Sammy Bedoui, Director of Research in the School.

With a focus on fostering collaboration, the MDHS Large Equipment Grant funding will be used to obtain five pieces of research equipment across our three departments.

Anatomy & Physiology

Single Cell Development Suite (Dr Michael Clark)

This machine separates single cells in order to investigate them individually and will be used to support stem cell research, developmental research and understanding how cells gain identity. It will benefit those interested in genomics by helping to understand the genetic info contained within one cell and understanding immune responses, the development of cells, the identity of cells and how to manipulate them.

Opto-physiology platform (Prof Stuart Mazzone)

In order to understand how a nerve works, researchers need to understand how the different nerve transmitters activate nerves through receptors. This machine will allow these receptors to be activated and nerve cells to be switched on and off using light, a non-invasive technique.

Biochemistry & Pharmacology

Vitrobot Mark IV System (Thermo Fisher Scientific) (Dr Debnath Ghosal)

Electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) is an indispensable tool to study biological samples in their hydrated state, from cells to molecules. This high-precision robotic device performs sample preparation for cryo-EM by snap-freezing a tiny amount of sample on EM grids. This grid is then imaged by cutting-edge electron microscopes to reveal the cellular landscape or structures of protein molecules at unprecedented resolution. The vitrobot will be extensively used by cell biologists and structural biologists across departments and schools.

Microbiology & Immunology

IGNITE NanoAssemblr Instrument (Prof Damian Purcell)

The IGNITE Nano-Assemblr allows reproducible manufacture of microscopically sized lipid nanoparticles (LNP’s) that are the breakthrough fatty-wrapper formulation used in the successful new RNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2.

This equipment will be used by researchers to discover new mRNA vaccines or other nucleic acid therapeutics and allows increased scale of production of new RNA and DNA LNP formulations, enabling rigorous testing to optimise highly efficient product expression and function in primary cells and small animals, and initiate testing of product safety and feasibility.

Thermo Scientific microflow HPLC (Dr Nichollas Scott)

The new microflow HPLC will be used by research groups to undertake larger proteomic experiments with enhanced efficiency and robustness, from clinical proteomics studies to help diagnose genetic diseases, to large functional proteome screens to understand new biological systems.

Congratulations to all of those involved, we look forward to seeing the strategic outcomes into the future.

The MDHS Large Equipment Grant Scheme

The NHMRC provides funding annually to approved institutions to purchase equipment to support high quality health and medical research.

Applications for equipment that will be of value to multiple users or groups are encouraged - and where appropriate, alignment to existing capabilities within the University.

Read more 

[staff log in required]