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19 Jun 2017

Garvan joins the EMBL Australia family

Garvan is to become a member of the EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Network. The news was announced at Garvan this month during the first EMBL Alumni event to be held in Australia.

Garvan is to become a member of the EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Network – a local life sciences network modelled on the prestigious European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).

In becoming an EMBL Australia member, Garvan will join the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), UNSW Sydney and Monash University, who are existing members of the EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Network, along with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (which joins the Network at the same time as Garvan). Garvan will become a key contributor to EMBL Australia’s NSW node.

In 2008, Australia accepted an invitation to become the first associate member of the renowned EMBL – Europe’s flagship intergovernmental research organisation for the life sciences. A multinational molecular biology research institution, EMBL is supported by 22 member states and operates from five sites across Europe. With nodes in Hinxton (near Cambridge, UK), Grenoble (France), Heidelberg and Hamburg (Germany), and Monterotondo (near Rome, Italy), EMBL comprises about 85 independent research groups and 1760 people. 

Two years after Australia joined EMBL, EMBL Australia was launched. EMBL Australia works to maximise the value of Australia’s associate membership of EMBL. In particular, it aims to strengthen Australia’s global position in life sciences by creating opportunities for internationalising Australian research, training the best students and early-career researchers, and accessing key international research infrastructure.

Garvan’s membership of EMBL Australia was announced this month (Friday, June 9) by Garvan’s Executive Director, Professor John Mattick, in his opening address at the EMBL in Australia alumni event, the first of its kind to be held in Australia.

Professor Mattick says, “We’re delighted to be teaming up with EMBL Australia – and by extension EMBL itself. Garvan is committed to building a culture that aligns with that of EMBL – scientific excellence and visionary science.

“Becoming part of the EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Network is an exciting opportunity for us to link with partner organisations that have synergistic research programs in these and other areas. Our main focus will be to build on our expertise in genome biology and its impact on disease.”

Key to the EMBL Australia partnership will be the recruitment of two new EMBL Australia Group Leaders at Garvan (the equivalent of Garvan’s Laboratory Heads) and the establishment of two new laboratories – one in audiogenomics and one in neurogenomics. The two new laboratories will explore the genome and its outputs in the auditory system, in the development and functioning of the brain, and in neurological disorders.

Prof Mattick says, “Garvan’s excellence in next-generation genomics is a core strength – so we’re very happy to be diversifying our focus of genomic investigation into the key areas of neurogenomics and audiogenomics, in the context of joining EMBL Australia.”

EMBL Australia Scientific Head Professor James Whisstock says he is thrilled with the latest expansion of the Partner Laboratory Network. 

“We’re very excited, not only about having the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute join our network, but also about the high calibre of people we will attract to lead the new laboratories and to advance Australia’s contribution to genomics and immunology,” Prof Whisstock says.

“Together, I look forward to continuing to build on our community of like-minded, early-career researchers who are pursuing ambitious scientific programs."