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30 April 2018

New Cairns facility to focus on tropical disease in Australia and the region

Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Sue Thomas, has welcomed the opening of a new Australian Institute for Tropical Health and Medicine facility at Cairns that will boost essential research into tropical diseases.

The facility was opened at James Cook University today by Senator the Hon. Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia on behalf of Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training.

The Australian Government, through the ARC, has contributed $18 million for this latest expansion of the Australian Institute for Tropical Health and Medicine, which forms part of an overall $42 million ARC Special Research Initiative that has funded new facilities for research focussed on tropical diseases.

With tropical diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever and other emerging infectious diseases posing a potential risk to Australia’s north and our broader region, Professor Thomas said the new Cairns facility will focus on research and training in viral and parasitic diseases to develop new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases.

“Since its establishment in 2014, the Australian Institute for Tropical Health and Medicine has emerged as a world leader in tropical disease research,” said Professor Thomas.

“This new facility will expand the institute’s research capabilities so they can continue to progress our understanding of tropical diseases and translate their findings into new therapeutics and improved diagnostics tools.

“The research at this new facility will focus on drug discovery and the development of important new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases that will help protect the health of Australians and improve our biosecurity, as well as that of our tropical neighbours.”

The ARC’s Special Research Initiatives scheme provides funding for new and emerging fields of research and builds capacity in strategically important areas. The ARC currently funds several SRIs in a range of research areas.

For more information about the work of the Australian Institute for Tropical Health and Medicine, please visit the AITHM website.

For more information about the ARC’s Special Research Initiatives scheme, please visit the ARC website.

Media contact: 

ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au