The Commonwealth Government Department of Education has announced that Phenomics Australia will receive over $15m under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), to address Australia’s strategic science and research priorities, driving the discovery of the molecular basis of disease to benefit the health of all Australians.
The funding is in addition to over $27m secured under the 2022 Research Infrastructure Investment Plan taking the total sum to over $42m for the period of 2023-2028.
The funding secures Phenomics Australia’s operations for the next 5 years, supporting the establishment of a new Synthetic Biology capability, along with the expansion of our continuing activities in Biobanking, In Vivo and In Vitro Genome Engineering and Disease Modelling, Functional Genomics and High-throughput Screening and Pathology.
“This funding demonstrates the value of the cutting-edge research infrastructure services and expertise offered by Phenomics Australia’s nodes and partner institutions”, Phenomics Australia CEO, Prof Michael Dobbie said. “This will strengthen Phenomics Australia’s capability to engineer and curate new and sophisticated model systems and novel materials that speed discovery and boost translation in Precision Medicine and beyond.”
The following Phenomics Australia activities have been included on this funding round:
New Synthetic Biology activity: Established Phenomics Australia bioengineering capability will be applied to design, build and test bespoke mammalian lines as cell products themselves, or for cell-derived products through amplification (antibodies, vaccines, recombinant proteins, stem cell/ gene therapies, tissue engineering products).
Biobanking: The expansion of Phenomics Australia’s existing national biobanking capabilities will accommodate significant new demand for the cryopreservation of genome-engineered cells and cell products produced through Phenomics Australia In Vitro Genome Engineering and Disease Modelling services.
In Vivo Genome Engineering and Disease Modelling: Phenomics Australia provides a national capability to explore the human genome and the genetic basis of health and disease. The expansion of these engineering and production capabilities will meet the significant new demand for increasingly complex and sophisticated model production.
In Vitro Genome Engineering and Disease Modelling: Cell and organoid models are powerful and accessible tools for the health discovery and the development and testing of potential therapeutics. The expansion of this capability will better serve the rapidly growing research and industry demand.
Functional Genomics and High-throughput Screening: This capability will be enhanced to perform a greater range and number of genome-scale, cell-based CRISPR, RNAi and compound screens in both 2-D cell lines and 3-D cell lines, patient-derived cells and xenografts, and complex disease models using sophisticated liquid handling automation, high content cellular phenotyping, and reporter-based readouts.
Pathology: Phenomics Australia enables the detailed description of the pathological changes in disease models to efficiently determine the biological consequences of their genome and to relate mutant and other disease phenotypes to human disease, the efficacy of potential therapeutics, and identify off-target effects. The expansion of this activity will enable the necessary growth of capabilities to accommodate significant ongoing demand for services, and particularly by industry for large-project support.