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Biomedical Advances in Australia

Resource type: Grantee Story

Since 1998, Founding Chairman grants totalling A$233 million ($212 million) have transformed biomedical research in Queensland, Australia. When current building projects are completed, we will have helped to build or expand 12 research institutions. Coupled with government and university investments of A$900 million ($819 million), the total built value of these 12 institutions will exceed A$1 billion ($910 million).

“The biotech industry here was virtually nonexistent ten years ago: zero drugs out of Queensland biotech were in clinical trial; now there are 23. There are six or seven times as many workers, six or seven times as much revenue,” said Professor Peter Andrews, Chief Scientist for the state.

One researcher is Professor Ian Frazer, Director of the University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and Metabolic Medicine and 2006 Australian of the Year. In 1991, he and the late Jian Zhou developed the technology for the vaccine used to prevent cervical cancer. Professor Frazer’s current research involves immunoregulation and immunotherapeutic vaccines, including treating genital warts, the most common sexually transmitted disease.

Atlantic also helped establish the region’s first stroke unit at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Its outreach programme provides state-of-the-art treatment for inpatients and outpatients.

Queensland’s success, including collaborative research networks with other institutions globally, serves as a model for other research institutes looking to expand their influence.