Murdoch University has opened the doors to a new research centre at its Perth campus, with a focus on precision medicine.
Named the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics (CMMIT), the research centre aims to lead transformation in healthcare by delivering precision medicine to people with life-threatening diseases.
A joint venture between Murdoch University and the Perron Institute, the CMMIT brings together scientists and clinicians from different fields of expertise to focus on the unique molecular and genetic makeup of individuals.
This approach is, according to the university, to “ensure that a person receives the right treatment at the right time”.
CMMIT Director Professor Steve Wilton will lead the team of researchers at the centre to develop specific treatments for serious health conditions such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and blood disorders.
Wilton said the challenge for the future was to develop therapies to treat individuals with a variety of different diseases.
“Precision medicine has the potential to transform healthcare on a scale equivalent to the way antibiotics transformed the fight against infectious diseases,” he said.
“The concept behind precision medicine is simple. It’s about designing a treatment that specifically targets the genetic makeup and other unique features of individual patients as a way of improving effectiveness and lessening side-effects. Doing this, however, is far from simple.”
[Read more: Precision medicine: huge promise, high hurdles | Technology underpins the clinical genomics movement in Australia]
Perron Institute Chair Professor Alan Robson said the launch of the centre is just the start in enabling Murdoch University and the Perron Institute to collaborate more effectively with other partners around the world.
“This centre will greatly expand our capacity to develop precision medical approaches that have the potential to change millions of lives in a truly significant way,” Robson said.
“New and exciting partnerships with industry partners in Australia and beyond will open up as the centre brings a new range of medical techniques to the world.”
The university has also welcomed $10 million in Federal Government support for an Australian National Phenome Centre (ANPC).
“The ANPC will put WA and the nation on the global stage, pioneering research that will translate into transformational benefits across human health, animal health, agriculture and food," Murdoch University Vice-Chancellor Eeva Leinonen said.
The CMMIT launch comes just days after Deakin University unveiled its new Institute for Health Transformation, bringing together more than 200 multi-disciplinary researchers and industry partners to address complex healthcare challenges of today.