Iconic LIMS research centre now open (Issue 1, 2013)

LIMS building

LIMS buildingVice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar and Ms Sharon Bird MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills, officially launched the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS) on 27 February. The centre will continue to grow the University’s world-class research in molecular science, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

The A$100 million complex includes the iconic LIMS building, a stunning six-storey, molecular sciences research hub with 34 research and support laboratories nestled in the heart of La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus. The project is the outcome of generous support from the Commonwealth Government and La Trobe University funds.

LIMS is one of the foundation stones in the development of the ambitious Northern Bioscience Precinct, a hub for advanced research in Melbourne’s growing northern region.

‘La Trobe is one of Australia’s top research universities in the fields of cell biology and biochemistry, and the brilliant labs and facilities our researchers can access at LIMS will help bolster our lead in these important disciplines,’ said Professor Dewar.

‘La Trobe is committed to research that helps to solve global problems and improve the welfare of human societies and the work we are doing at LIMS is a great example of how we are putting this into action.’

Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills, Sharon Bird, said this building is another example of the transformation of Australian universities that is happening under the Gillard Government’s Education Investment Fund.

‘We fully recognise the importance of world class infrastructure and facilities in helping our students and researchers perform at their best to reach their potential,’ said Ms Bird.

The Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2012 report reveals that four of La Trobe’s research areas are well above world standards – analytical chemistry, biochemistry and cell biology, microbiology and veterinary sciences.

‘La Trobe’s growing excellence in molecular science research and teaching will benefit immensely from this facility and it will contribute to a growing centre of scientific excellence across the university,’ said Ms Bird.

‘There are enormous challenges facing humankind in addressing major questions relating to human health and food security,’ said Professor Brian McGaw, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering.

‘These challenges come at a time where we face new diseases, antibiotic resistance, climate change and a growing population.’

‘LIMS already has an international reputation for its research into the basis of human, plant and animal disease, and in driving technological approaches to combating disease,’ Professor McGaw said. ‘The LIMS complex, with its capacity for multi-disciplinary research, is crucial to our ability to meet future research challenges, as well as attracting the best students to study with us.

‘LIMS aims to train the next generation of scientists in these areas, to translate findings into commercial products, and to develop outreach programs to engage school students. This isn't just important for the research activities here at La Trobe, but also for sustaining the knowledge economy and the prosperity of Victoria and Australia into the future.’