Genetics research receives a boost

Published 16 August 2007

Southern Cross University and the University of New South Wales have received $400,000 to further develop the capacity for research into plant and human genetics.

The funding, from the NSW Government, will bring the total funding to Southern Cross University for the development of infrastructure for genomic research to more than $1 million over four years.

The funding is part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme, which involves funding from State and Federal governments.

Professor Robert Henry, the director of Southern Cross University’s Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics, welcomed the contribution from the State Government.

“The NSW Government funding is very important. It will be matched with a bigger allocation from the Federal Government and bring the total funding to about $1 million,” Professor Henry said.

Professor Henry said the Centre would become a genomics ‘node’ providing researchers from around the country access to specialist DNA sequencing facilities.

“Our specialty at Southern Cross University is plants, while the University of New South Wales will specialise in human genetics,” he said.

The NSW Minister for Science and Medical Research, Verity Firth, said a total of $15 million had been provided for 17 new or expanded research facilities at six NSW universities.

Ms Firth said the public investment would keep NSW at the forefront of scientific exploration and home to some of the world’s ‘best and brightest’ minds.

“We are working closely with the Commonwealth Government, universities and industry to construct a network of cutting edge research and development infrastructure and expertise, building on the Government’s previous investments,” Ms Firth said.

Media contact: Brigid Veale, Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.