Research

The School of Biomedical Sciences is part of the largest biomedical precinct in the southern hemisphere. Outstanding facilities and commitment to discovery makes the School in demand among the brightest minds in biomedical research.

Our Research Capabilities

Our School’s diverse research capabilities bring together researchers from the social sciences, epidemiology and public health, preventive, clinical and primary care medicine and from basic and applied sciences.

  • Infection & Immunity

    The interplay between myriads of microbes and the immune system is central to a healthy life and forms the basis for many disorders, especially infectious diseases. However, our understanding of many microbes, their interaction with the host and how immune response are initiated, regulated, and directed against microbial encounters, is far from complete.

    Through fundamental research activities, working with clinical and commercial collaborators, we are advancing our understanding of microbial physiology, host-pathogen interactions, and the immune system itself but are also devising strategies for safer and more effective forms of immunotherapy and improved vaccine technologies to prevent and treat infection.

    We aim to provide the fundamental and basic knowledge required to understand the function of the immune system, the microbes, and their interaction during disease.

    Key areas of interest include:

    • fundamental lymphocyte biology in lymphoid organs and tissues
    • the biology of dendritic cells and other myeloid cells
    • immunity to and immunopathogenesis of infection
    • the biology of viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi
    • the study of antimicrobial resistance, vaccines, vaccine technology and adjuvant design
    • the role of the immune system in cancers

    Capability Leader: Prof Sammy Bedoui

  • Neuroscience

    The nervous system is an integral regulator of all our bodily functions. It is essential for our interpretation, experiences and reactions formed from the physical world and represents the seat of our consciousness, memories, self-awareness, and our individuality.

    Neuroscience is an exciting frontier in biology because of the astonishing degree of complexity involved in how the nervous system performs its diverse functions. Until recently, understanding this complexity seemed beyond reach - but a new era is upon us - bringing with it advanced technologies and unprecedented opportunities for innovative neuroscience research resulting in a rapid phase of discovery.

    We are working to advance the understanding of how the nervous system contributes to human health and disease through research with global impact and influence.

    Through multidisciplinary neuroscience research, building productive relationships and collaborations within the Parkville Biomedical Precinct and beyond, we are creating a vibrant neuroscience research culture focused on training, career development and innovative research - all in the pursuit of improving human health.

    Capability Leader: Prof Stuart Mazzone

  • Metabolic Health

    The past decade has seen a renewed interest in metabolic research which is reshaping our understanding of human physiology and disease. Studies on cellular metabolism, driven in part by advances in technology, have provided new insights into aging, the role of the microbiome and diet, and the underlying causes of cancers and metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

    Our Metabolic Health capability brings together researchers with expertise in the molecular, analytical, and clinical sciences to drive breakthrough discovery and translational research in cellular metabolism and create an international centre of excellence for research into metabolic disease.

    We are leveraging the University's investments in platform technologies around multi-omics, whole animal physiology and bioresources, computational biology and drug development, as well as accessing clinicians and patient cohorts across the Biomedical Precinct. Bringing together researchers to address major challenges in metabolic research and help drive multi-disciplinary research funding opportunities and interactions with industry partners is at the core of what we do.

    Capability Leaders: Dr Magdalena Montgomery & Prof Malcolm McConville

  • Development & Differentiation

    Development is a capability that lies at the heart of the University of Melbourne's research and educational programs into the human body. Whether understanding normal human biology, or seeking to treat disease, medical research requires sophisticated analysis of the growth, development and specialisation of the cells that make up the tissues and organs of our bodies.

    Our capability in Development and Differentiation brings together expertise in:

    • anatomical sciences
    • stem cell biology
    • clinical and developmental biology
    • genetics
    • computational biology - from molecular mechanisms of cellular behaviour, towards understanding physiological contexts and clinical implications of those cellular phenotypes

    Cross-cutting capabilities include:

    • patient-derived stem cell models of diseased organs
    • invention of cellular platforms needed to understand the gene-environment interactions that influence healthy development
    • cell engineering to create a cellular toolkit for diagnostic screening and regenerative medicine.

    Capability Leader: Prof Christine Wells

Graduate Research at MDHS

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The Biomedical Precinct

The School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Melbourne is part of the largest biomedical precinct in the southern hemisphere. It is a hub of innovation, exceptional collaboration opportunities and cutting-edge facilities.

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Early-Mid Career Researchers Association

Supporting postdoctoral researchers in the School, EMCRA offers networking opportunities and an annual collaborative seed-funding grant: the EMCRA Collaborative Award.

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