[ASC-media] Media alert: Minister Carr to launch EMBL Australia, Mon 29 March 2010

Rachel Taylor rachel.taylor at armi.monash.edu.au
Thu Mar 25 04:03:09 CET 2010

*Media alert: EMBL Australia Launch** 29 March 2010*

Embargo until 11am Monday 29 March 2010

On Monday 29 March 2010 the Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, 
Science and Research will officially launch EMBL Australia in the 
presence of the Governor of Victoria, Prof David de Kretser.

Guest speakers will include:

    * Prof Richard Larkins, Chaiman, EMBL Australia
    * Prof Marianne Bronner, eminent scientist from Caltech
    * Prof Iain Mattaj, Director General, EMBL

EMBL Australia is Australia's link to the renowned European Molecular 
Biology Laboratory. It is a joint initiative of CSIRO, Monash 
University, The University of Sydney, The University of Queensland, and 
The University of Western Australia.


*1. Appointee: EMBL Australia Scientific Head*
This position is responsible for the leadership and development of the 
research direction of EMBL Australia and building scientific excellence, 
increased collaboration, innovation and services to Australian life 
science community. The appointee is an internationally renowned 
scientist who specialises in regenerative medicine and has strong ties 
to Australia, Europe and the US.

*2. Launch of the EMBL Australia International PhD program*
This program is designed to rapidly-accelerate the career of our best 
and brightest young scientists. It will enable Australian students to 
undertake a PhD in Europe that will be jointly-awarded by the EMBL and 
their Australian university.

*3. Appointee: Partner Laboratory Network Group Leader*
The appointee is currently based at Harvard Medical School and is an 
Australian. They will be returning home to lead a research group at the 
Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University and to 
participate in the active development of a new network of laboratories 
throughout Australia modelled on the EMBL.

4. New EMBL Australia facility in bioinformatics*
This facility is being created to place Australia at the centre of the 
international bioinformatics community. It will enable new services in 
data-crunching for international life science research. A particular 
focus will be agricultural biotechnology, which is under-served by the 
EBI currently.

*5. Launch of the EMBL Australia National Bioinformatics Network*
An initiative to improve interaction and career opportunities in 


*Event:* Launch of EMBL Australia
*Date: *Monday 29 March 2010
*Time: *11am
*Venue: *G19, Building 75, Monash University, Clayton campus
*Expected audience:* Life scientists, scientific leaders, European 
representatives, senior university personnel
*Expected number of attendees:* 100 -- 150



EMBL Australia aims to foster and enhance Australian research quality 
through the development of world-class scientific leaders. Its primary 
activities are:

    * First-class scientific training and collaboration
    * Establishing an EMBL Australia Partner Laboratory Network (PLN)
    * Exchanging infrastructure, services, resources, and expertise
      between Europe and Australia
    * Pursuing new opportunities in co-funding research

In March 2008 Australia accepted an invitation to partner with Europe's 
pre-eminent research institute, the European Molecular Biology 
Laboratory (EMBL). This partnership saw Australia granted Associate 
Member status (the first ever offered) for a period of seven years and 
created EMBL Australia. This invitation was extended to Australia due to 
our scientific strengths in cell biology, clinical research, stem cells 
and regenerative medicine, chemical biology and genetic epidemiology.



*Richard LARKINS, Chairman, EMBL Australia*
Professor Richard Larkins, AO is the Chairman of EMBL Australia. He has 
had a distinguished career in medicine, scientific research and academic 
management. He was President and Vice Chancellor of Monash University 
from 2003 - 2009.  In 2002 Professor Larkins was made an Officer of the 
Order of Australia (AO) for service to medicine and health. His medical 
research and clinical work was in diabetes and endocrinology.

During his career, he has served as a member of the Prime Minister's 
Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, chair of the National 
Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, President of the Royal 
Australasian College of Physicians, and Chair of Universities Australia. 
He a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

*Professor Iain MATTAJ, Director General, European Molecular Biology 
Prof Mattaj joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in 
Heidelberg as a Group Leader in 1985. He became Coordinator of the Gene 
Expression Unit at EMBL in 1990 before being promoted to the position of 
Scientific Director in 1999. Prof Mattaj has been Director General of 
EMBL since 2005.

Prof Mattaj's research achievements are considerable and varied. Most 
notably, his mechanistic studies of macromolecular transport between the 
nucleus and cytoplasm were significant and heavily cited. His most 
recent work is focused on aspects of the regulation of processes that 
occur during cell division, specifically mitotic spindle formation and 
the breakdown and reformation of the nuclear envelope and nuclear pore 

Prof Mattaj is a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), Fellow of the 
Royal Society of Edinburgh, Member of Academia Europea and Foreign 
Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. He is a 
member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and helped 
make The EMBO Journal a highly successful international scientific 
journal, acting as Executive Editor from 1990 to 2004.

*Professor Marianne BRONNER, Albert Billings Ruddock Professor of 
Biology, California Institute of Technology*
Marianne Bronner is an international expert in the early formation of 
the vertebrate nervous system and how vertebrates evolve, using a cell 
type called the neural crest.

Her laboratory focuses on how neural crest cells and placodes arose both 
in a developmental and evolutionary context. She made major 
contributions at unraveling the molecular and cellular signals by which 
neural crest and placode cells form and evolve using a combination of 
embryological, molecular and genomic approaches.

She has published more than 250 scientific papers and reviews, many of 
which are in the most prestigious journals.


Rachel Taylor
Communications and Development Officer---EMBL Australia
Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University
Ph: +61 3 9902 9607
Mob: 0411 288 672
Fax: +61 3 9902 9729
rachel.taylor at armi.monash.edu.au

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