Science milestone (Issue 39, 2010)


New labs open at La Trobe University

New state-of-the-art science laboratories opened this month at La Trobe University. Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Tim Brown officially opened the facilities on 2 August.

The A$5.2 million laboratories will be used for teaching and postgraduate research, and form an integral part of the La Trobe Institute of Molecular Science (LIMS). Funding for upgrading of the laboratories has come from the Federal Government’s Better Universities Renewal Funding program and La Trobe University.

Professor Paul Johnson says the laboratories’ opening is a major milestone for science at La Trobe University, providing essential equipment for researchers.

‘We have set a forward looking and ambitious agenda for science at La Trobe as our contribution to training the next generation of scientists with the skills to grow a robust biotechnology industry in Melbourne.’

‘These laboratories are an essential first step in the development program now underway for the La Trobe Institute of Molecular Science (LIMS),’ he said.

The A$94.3 million La Trobe Institute of Molecular Science, set to open in 2013, will be housed in an iconic new six-storey building which will be linked into the existing School of Molecular Sciences, providing a fully integrated research and learning environment.

Designed by acclaimed architects, Lyons, the new and upgraded facilities will include teaching and research laboratories, an equipment barn, expanded chemical and gas storage facilities, office accommodation, an auditorium and public access areas.

Professor Tim Brown, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) said: ‘The overall design of the complex will echo the Institute’s “pathway philosophy” - from secondary student, to undergraduate, to postgraduate, to future scientist.’

‘These enhanced research facilities will allow the University to extend its recognised track record of translating basic research into commercial results, as well as grow our undergraduate and postgraduate enrolments by five per cent over the next five years.’

Architect Carey Lyons is set to soon unveil schematic designs for LIMS.