School Research Strengths
Researchers are investigating how pathogens and their hosts interact in infectious diseases, with a particular focus on developing vaccines for diseases including malaria and tuberculosis. The ARC Centre of Excellence for Structural and Functional Microbial Genomics is developing new veterinary vaccines for several livestock diseases including; fowl cholera, footrot in sheep, leptospirosis in livestock and swine dysentery.
Scientists are working to understand and halt the development of cancer by investigating how cells move and position themselves in cancerous tumours, how signal mediating enzymes play a role in cancer cell transformation and how abnormal cell signalling can lead to cancer.
Fetal and Baby Health
Approximately 2000 to 3000 premature babies are born each year in Australia with lungs that have not developed to an appropriate level. Researchers are investigating the factors that regulate normal lung development and how it is altered by premature birth. They will use the new Australian Synchrotron when it opens at Monash University in 2007.
Our studies focus on understanding the development of the nervous system and attacking the causes of its diseases. Areas of research at Monash include; sensory systems, brain development, neurodegeneration, neural stem cell physiology, fetal development and behavioural neuroscience.
Drug development for a range of diseases includes: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and neuro-degeneration. Approaches to drug development include: optimising naturally occurring molecules from venoms, plants and the human regulatory system; reengineering human proteins as the basis of new therapeutics; and computer modelling of drug targets and testing in simple biological systems.
The Regenerative Medicine Institute brings together Monash's expertise in stem cell science, biomedical science and engineering. Regenerative medicine uses cells, genes or other biological building blocks, along with bioengineered materials technologies, to repair and replace tissues and organs. It will develop effective treatments for incurable diseases at all ages but particularly focus on diseases associated with aging.
Stem Cell Research
Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories (MISCL) harbours research in stem cell science, with an emphasis on embryonic stem cells and their potential applications in the repair and regeneration of blood, pancreatic, respiratory, reproductive, renal and neural tissues. Interests also include adult (mature) stem cells, particularly in relation to lung and kidney regeneration. There is also a focus on the immune system for treating cancer and for the induction of transplantation, tolerance, correction of autoimmunity and reversal of immunodeficiency.
Our cardiovascular research scientists are working to identify new drugs to improve vascular health and fight diseases. Using Synchrotron science to visualise the heart and arteries closely, scientists are working to prevent diseases associated with vascular health by retaining healthy blood vessels and repairing blocked ones.
Monash researchers are world leaders in the use of x-ray crystallography and bioinformatics in the identification of new therapeutic targets for diseases including, Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia and immune related disorders.