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Biomedical institute finds new home at Victoria

The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, New Zealand's internationally recognised private biomedical research centre, has formed a unique partnership with Victoria University of Wellington.

The relationship will see the Malaghan leave its rented premises at Wellington Hospital in Newtown early next year and move to Victoria's Kelburn campus where it will be housed in a specially refurbished building.

The decision, backed by the University Council at its meeting yesterday (August 25) afternoon, was announced at a Malaghan Institute function at Government House last night (August 25).

The Malaghan Institute is the only independent biomedical research facility in New Zealand with scientists involved in world-class research to unravel the nature, origin and causes of cancer, asthma, multiple sclerosis and infectious diseases.

The Malaghan is recognised worldwide for its leading edge scientific research discoveries and development of novel therapies for treating disease, and in particular its work to harness the powers of the human immune system to defend against a host of diseases.

Malaghan Director of Research, Professor Graham Le Gros, welcomed the strengthened relationship with Victoria.

“We’re delighted to build on our existing leading-edge collaborations with Victoria and see a natural fit. We are both very confident that our new partnership will enhance research, education and biotechnology in the Wellington region.”

The search for new premises in Wellington was the result of the Institute’s growth, he said.

"The Malaghan has grown substantially in recent years. The breadth of our research has widened, we've taken on new staff and postgraduate students and we've bought a host of highly specialised equipment that is vital to our work. We have simply outgrown the space and we felt it was vital that we gained a new and permanent home.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said the Malaghan's choice of Victoria as its new home reflected the University's growing strength in biomedical research.

"Three years ago, Victoria took the bold step of establishing unique degrees in biomedical science to provide a link between learning in the fundamentals of modern molecular and cell biology and the clinical practices of health services. The Bachelor of Biomedical Science programme, which had its first graduates last year, provides majors in human genetics, molecular pathology, and molecular pharmacology and medicinal chemistry – all areas that are the focus of research by the Malaghan.

"The relationship with the Malaghan will allow existing research collaborations to blossom further. Researchers in our Science schools have long-standing collaborations with colleagues at the Malaghan. This includes projects as varied as the anti-cancer properties of a toxin in a New Zealand marine sponge to understanding why people living in the tropics rarely suffer from inflammatory diseases such as MS, diabetes and multiple sclerosis."

Issued jointly by Victoria University of Wellington Public Affairs and the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research
For further information please contact Antony Paltridge, Public Affairs Adviser, Victoria University on 04 463 5873 or 029 463 5873 or Jacqui La Berge, Fundraising and Communications Manager, Malaghan Institute on 04 389 5096 or 021 891 944

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