The Australian Research Council (ARC; Majura Park, Australia) is funding $23 million to help start the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, which brings together leading researchers from the University of Adelaide, Macquarie University, and RMIT University for a seven-year initial funding period.
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics is combining expertise in physics, chemistry, materials engineering, biology, and medicine to develop new science and new technologies for controlling the interactions between light and matter at the nanometer scale. The new tools, techniques, and sensors to be developed by the Centre will offer new ways to explore and quantify the molecular structures and compositions within cells and tissues in the body with a sensitivity and spatial resolution not previously possible. It will position itself to address major questions in the biosciences, such as the development of embryos or the origins of pain and sensation, leading to important outcomes for diagnostics and healthcare in the longer term.
The Centre is led by Professor Tanya Monro, an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow at the University of Adelaide, and has a team of nine other chief investigators. Four come from Macquarie University: Professor Ewa Goldys, who specializes nanotechnology and imaging techniques; Dr. Dayong Jin, recent recipient of an ARC Future Fellowship for his work on diagnostic nanoparticles; Professor Nicki Packer, a biological researcher in glycomics; and Emeritus Professor Jim Piper, a laser scientist and optical physicist.
On top of the initial $23 million in ARC funding for the initial seven-year lifetime of the center, the research team has cash commitments from the participating institutions and partner organizations of another $15 million.
The ARC Centres of Excellence program seeks to forge major new research collaborations between universities and out into the global research arena and industry. It focuses on funding transformational research that will receive major international recognition, address challenging research problems, and build Australia’s research capacity.