Cash injection to keep St Vincent's at the cutting edge

Scott Morrison announces the $30 million funding for the Aitkenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD)

A $30 million cash injection to Melbourne’s ground-breaking bio-medical research centre will keep the city at the global cutting edge of medical technology, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Source: Canberra Times.

Next month’s federal budget will commit the money for a new building that the scientists and researchers at Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery at St Vincent’s Hospital have been dreaming about for more than a decade.

The new building will give the city Australia’s only facility where bio-medical research and development takes place in an actual hospital, with one leading medical researcher saying on Sunday: “This changes everything.”

Aikenhead has already produced ground-breaking medical innovations, including a head implant that talks to an epilepsy patient’s mobile phone, warning them when a seizure is imminent, and the 3D printing of human stem cells which are then injected into joints to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis.

Researchers at Aikenhead have also developed another 3D printing technique, which produces replacement human bones and uses surgical robots to fit them to cancer patients or trauma victims.

The 11-storey building, planned for the corner of Victoria Parade and Nicholson Street, has the potential to bring the centre’s work to another level, according to Mark Cook of St Vincent’s Hospital.

“I think it’ll change everything,” Professor Cook said.

“It’ll be a unique facility like nothing else in Australia and there are very few of these sorts of arrangements like this in the world where you’ve actually got the bio-engineering facility in a clinical site.”

The federal funding would allow the $180 million project to go ahead, according to the Aikenhead Centre, with the rest of the cost to be made up by the state government, which has promised to contribute $60 million to the project.

Private philanthropy and commercial partners are expected to round out the funding.

Professor Cook said the key to the success of the centre was concentrating engineers, scientists and developers as well as commercial bio-medical firms in one place, all located in a working hospital.


Federal budget cash to put Melbourne at medicine's cutting edge (Canberra Times)


Federal government commits $30 million (Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery) 

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