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  • World-leading immune research centre signals 'new era'

    Author: AAP

An Australian-first centre will rapidly accelerate immunology research by focusing on the broader immune system rather than individual diseases.

The Snow Medical Research Foundation has made an initial $100 million funding commitment over 10 years to establish the new centre at Melbourne's Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

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The long-term funding will allow researchers to revolutionise how immune diseases are understood and treated, Snow Medical founder Tom Snow said.

"Australia has some of the best researchers in the world," he said in a statement.

"We want to get them out of short-term funding cycles and give them freedom to experiment and take risks - we're here to back them."

The Snow Centre for Immune Health will be co-led by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

It will transform the focus of immunological research from a disease-by-disease, project-by-project approach to a broader research program that covers the entire immune system.

The type of conditions that could benefit from the advanced research include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma and other allergies.

The funding will also go towards Snow Research Clinics, which will allow patients across Victoria to join immune system trials and receive the latest research treatments.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute's Alan Cowman said the "whole-of-system" approach to research had already transformed the way cardiovascular and respiratory diseases were studied.

Professor Jo Douglass, from the Royal Melbourne Hospital, said the centre's long-term vision and funding would enable her team to make major discoveries.


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