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University of Melbourne to host genomics hub

Genomics hub will be hosted at Melbourne Universit
Photo: Melbourne University to host genomics hub
Coronavirus research will be one of the projects at a genomics hub to be set up at the University of Melbourne.

After learning the benefits of genomics during the second coronavirus wave, Melbourne will be home to a new research hub dedicated to its research.

Genomic sequencing played a crucial role earlier this year in mapping the spread of the coronavirus through the botched hotel quarantine program and into the community.

"We're probably all becoming experts in genomic sequencing," said state Economic Development Minister Tim Pallas.

Now a genomics hub to be set up at the University of Melbourne will help advance research in fields like infectious diseases, including coronavirus.
The hub is being billed as the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, and is a $60 million joint venture between the university, the Victorian government and US biotech group Illumina.

It will bring together the best genomic expertise and technology in Australia and drive better research in multiple fields.

It's the first university project to secure funding from the government's higher education investment fund, set up in response to the impact of the pandemic on universities.

"It will further underscore our ... development of capabilities in medical research, drive commercialisation opportunities and future-proof Victoria's position as a national leader in genomics," he said.

Simon Giuliano from Illumina said this year had shown the value of genomic sequencing.

"COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the important role that genomics has played in our global response to the pandemic," he said.


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