UOW’s $30m medical research hub opens

Prof Don Iverson outside the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, which will officially open tomorrow. The new centre is expected to bring scientists, health researchers and doctors closer together. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOSqueegees have been sent into overdrive in Gwynneville as the Illawarra’s glassy new $30 million medical research hub is readied for opening.State Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt will officially unveil the swish new addition to the University of Wollongong’s main campus tomorrow, three years after it began as a twinkle in the eyes of Vice-Chancellor Gerard Sutton and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health) Don Iverson.Designed as a bright and airy antithesis to the cloistered science labs of old, the four-floor Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute has already been credited with luring top-tier researchers to the region.Professor Iverson, who is also executive director of the institute, said all the site’s offices were filled, with 150 staff already working from the building.The new facility would have the dual benefits of bringing scientists, health researchers and doctors closer together – increasing the likelihood of fruitful, happenstance collaboration – and acting as a talent magnet, Prof Iverson said.”In terms of absolute sheer beauty, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better in Australia,” he said.”It really makes a difference. It’s going to be a lot easier to recruit people to the university with this facility.”A collaboration between the university and the South Eastern Sydney Illawarra Health Service, research at the institute will focus on six key themes – metabolic conditions, infectious diseases, primary care and rural health, healthy ageing, cancer, and neuroscience and mental health.
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