The proposed MQ Biomolecular Discovery Research Centre (BDRC) is the culmination of a strong history of collaboration and funding success across biomolecular sciences at Macquarie University. It builds on the solid foundations and successes achieved by the current MQ Biomolecular Discovery and Design Research Centre (BDDRC). Since 2017, the BDDRC has contributed to the development of synthetic biology at Macquarie University, as well as continuing the already well established critical research collaborations developed in biomolecular technology and ‘Omics (genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, glycomics, bioinformatics). Our recent success is most strongly reflected by:
(i) Progression of the only Macquarie (MQ)-led ARC Centre of Excellence (in Synthetic Biology) by members of the BDDRC through EOI to full application to final ARC interview phase (28 May 2019)
(ii) Completion by BDDRC members of a 5-year ARC Industrial Training Centre (ITTC) for Molecular Technology in the Food Industry in 2017
(iii) Substantial membership of BDDRC members in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale Biophotonics (2013-2020).
The BDDRC currently has productive collaborations across 8 Departments in the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) and current membership includes 36 MQ Academic staff, 48 affiliated MQ Researchers and over 90 HDR students. In its first 2 years, BDDRC members published over 100 peer reviewed scientific articles and secured $11.2 M External Grant Funding and $3.3 MQ Internal Grant Funding. Key senior staff ensured that the former Centre was highly successful at developing collaborations within Macquarie University, and with researchers across Australia and overseas.
After a very successful application and interview for the Synthetic Biology CoE, we are shifting the new Centre focus from Synbio into other "omics" areas, expand membership across MQ departments and faculties, establish further interactions with key industry partners and government agencies, and build on the previous successes of securing funding for projects from both Australia and overseas sources.
The Centre brings together diverse innovative approaches to the study of biological problems using biomolecular analytical technologies. Today's ‘Omics' tools of genomics, proteomics, glycomics and bioinformatics, that are the internationally recognised strengths of the Centre members, are allowing the rapid discovery and analysis of cellular phenotypes across a broad range of life-science applications. These are key approaches of many groups now concentrated in the Centre (eg. research groups led by Centre members Ian Paulsen/Sasha Tetu (Genomics); Paul Haynes (Proteomics); Nicki Packer/Morten Andersen (Glycomics); Anwar Sunna (Synbio/Nanobiotechnology); and Georgy Sofronov (Bioinformatics). This integration is enabling unique insights into a wide range of biological systems, including gut microbiomics, disease progression, and glycoimmunology.
The new BDRC aims to increase the number of members from the School of Engineering and the FMHS with a focus on potential collaborations in areas of nanobiomedicine, health and biomedical device research. BDRC members will apply their “multi-omics” analysis skills to a range of biological questions in areas such as animal health and welfare (e.g., ARC Industrial Training Centre for the Animal Gut Microbiome in preparation for 2020) and human health and medicine (e.g., NHMR