Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Drug discovery centre honours pioneer

Drug discovery centre honours pioneer

The Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, a research organisation aimed at developing new drugs for serious disease, was launched today by the Hon Trevor Mallard, Minister for Economic Development.

The Maurice Wilkins Centre brings together over 200 researchers from multidisciplinary teams to create a world-leading infrastructure for drug discovery and development. The Centre brings together scientific excellence in all aspects required for successful drug discovery, such as biological modelling, structural biology, molecular biology and medicinal chemistry.

The Maurice Wilkins Centre has developed from the Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, one of the seven Centres of Research Excellence (CoREs) established by the government in 2002/3 to underpin world-class research efforts in New Zealand. The Centre has eight principal investigators, lead by Director Professor Ted Baker, and is based at The University of Auckland. It has established important research collaborations with institutions across New Zealand, including the Malaghan Institute, IRL and the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre.

The Centre has developed strong working relationships with biopharmaceutical companies Neuren, Proacta and Protemix, playing a pivotal role in the development of their product pipelines. All of these companies now have products in human clinical trials. The Wilkins Centre has also played a key role stimulating the new biotechnology tools company Symansis to move its base of operations from the UK to New Zealand, and is now working with the company to develop new products which go on sale worldwide in September.

The Centre is named after pioneering New Zealand physicist Maurice Wilkins. Maurice Wilkins was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine with Francis Crick and James Watson in 1962 for work confirming the double helix structure of DNA proposed by Watson and Crick in 1952.

"The launch of the new Centre encompasses our vision for the future, to build on the work done over the past 3 years to become a world-leading institution in research into understanding the cause of diseases and developing drugs to treat them," says Professor Baker. "Our research is world-class; our teams have a number of drugs in clinical trials, many of which are licensed and being developed by large global companies, and we have a number of companies that have been started based on our discoveries."

"Maurice Wilkins was a scientific visionary, and we are proud to be able to honour his contribution to science and his New Zealand heritage. Without the work done by Wilkins, Watson and Crick, modern day drug discovery wouldn't exist, and we strive to build on this legacy."


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>


New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news