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Continents Join to Wipe Flu Off the Planet

by 5m Editor
8 February 2008, at 11:21am

AUSTRALIA - A team of researchers from The Australian National University will lead a new joint research centre with China conducting leading-edge research into treatments for Avian Influenza (Bird Flu).

The new Australia-China Centre for Phenomics Research, funded by the Chinese and Australian Governments, will be located in The John Curtin School for Medical Research at ANU.

The joint undertaking – thought to be the largest funded program in biosciences between China and Australia – was instigated by the University’s Dr Edward Bertram following his involvement in a China-Australia exchange program supported by Australian Technological Sciences and Engineering and the Australian Academy of Science.


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"The research centre is a very significant development in the relationship between Australia and China."
Dr Winslade, CEO of the Australian Phenomics Network

“The funding will be used to study alterations in the genome code that lead to increased resistance to Avian Influenza,” said Dr Bertram. “It’s hoped that this work will help us to identify targets for designing new treatments to boost the immune system against Avian Influenza.”

The Australian program be lead by ANU researchers Dr Edward Bertram, Dr Steve Winslade and Professor Chris Goodnow, but will also involve some of Australia’s top immunologists including Nobel Prize winner Professor Peter Doherty, Dr Stephen Turner from the University of Melbourne, Professor Doug Hilton from The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and Professor Paul Hertzog from Monash Institute of Medical Research.

The Chinese team will be led by Professor Hong Tang, Director of the Centre for Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Professor Hualen Chen, Director of the National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory in Harbin.

Dr Winslade, CEO of the Australian Phenomics Network, said this collaboration with China could pave the way for future joint research.

“There will be many more opportunities to expand and strengthen our bioscience connection with China over the next few years and the new joint research centre could lead the way for Australia,” he said. “The research centre is a very significant development in the relationship between Australia and China.”

The Australian funding of $1,536,200 comes from the China-Australia International Scientific Linkages Fund from the Department of Education, Science and Training and matches funds from the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and support from the Australian Phenomics Facility.

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

5m Editor