IHMRI Executive Director and CEO, Professor David Adams. Photo by MOD Photography.

IHMRI is set to get a state-of-the-art robot that will enable researchers to do a year’s worth of work in just one day.

The new electrophysiology facility at IHMRI will be the first of its kind in Australia and could lead to faster drug discoveries and treatments.

The powerful new technology will speed up the process of cell analysis and will significantly reduce lab time for researchers.

“This project aims to establish the first high-throughput automated patch-clamp facility in Australia, one of only a few in the world, to enable research at the forefront of cell phenotyping and drug discovery,” IHMRI Executive Director and CEO, Professor David Adams said.

The Patch-clamp technique allows scientists to measure the electrical activity in single living cells and their responses to different drugs.

Professor Adams, was instrumental in securing Australian Research Council (ARC) funding under the Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and facilities (LIEF) scheme.

“The Australian Government funding announcement is a significant win for IHMRI and the Illawarra as well as the broader Sydney region,” Professor Adams said.

The $443,311 grant will go towards the cost of the facility at IHMRI.

“This facility represents a quantum leap in productivity for biosciences in this country which will potentially give the Australian pharmaceutical industry a competitive global edge,” Professor Adams said.

The grant win is a partnership of scientists from IHMRI, the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.

The funding was part of $8.7 million dollars awarded to the University of Wollongong (UOW) across the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, maths, the humanities and the social sciences.

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Judy Raper welcomed the funding and said the range of projects awarded was indicative of the high quality of research being undertaken across all faculties and disciplines.

“I congratulate our researchers on their well-deserved success in what is a very competitive process,” Professor Raper said.

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