Step forward for AIID

Burnet Institute

16 December, 2021

Image: (L-R) Professor Brendan Crabb, Professor Sharon Lewin, Professor James McCluskey

The nascent Australian Institute for Infectious Disease (AIID) has taken an important step forward with the signing of a Foundation Partners Agreement by Burnet Institute Director Professor Brendan Crabb, Doherty Institute Director Professor Sharon Lewin, and University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor James McCluskey.

The agreement, witnessed by Victoria’s Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford, outlines how the partners will work together as part of Victoria’s fight to protect the community against future pandemics.

Professor Crabb said the agreement formalises a big step forward in how the Burnet, Doherty and University of Melbourne commit to living and working together with a shared purpose.

“Three agencies, but one mission, to help the country and the wider region respond to infectious diseases and pandemics,” Professor Crabb said.

“The scale and possibilities that this partnership presents is way greater than the sum of its parts. It’s very exciting for our future.”

The AIID is being established to harness the collective power of Victoria’s world-leading research excellence in infectious disease, bringing leading institutions together to support scientific discovery and quickly respond to future pandemics and safeguard the state, nation and region.

Image: Doherty Institute Microscopist Dr Jason Roberts shows the Omicron variant to Medical Research Minister, Jaala Pulford

A new 52,000-square-metre AIID facility to be built in the prestigious Melbourne Biomedical Precinct will house the most significant critical mass of scientists, public health professionals, global health practitioners, research programs and platforms in the southern hemisphere.

The AIID business plan will be completed this month, allowing concept design and architect plans to commence in 2022.

Under the AIID structure, there will be an Alliance of leading organisations across Victoria including Monash University, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), CSL Ltd, Innova and others to set strategic direction and research priorities.

Image: Professor Brendan Crabb signs the AIID Foundation Partners Agreement watched on by Professor James McCluskey, Vic Minister for Medical Research, Jaala Pulford, and Professor Sharon Lewin

The facility will enable the Doherty Institute to expand and the Burnet Institute to relocate to the Parkville site and house more than 1000 scientists, academics, students and public health experts from the institutes alongside industry start-ups.

Joint location will strengthen collaboration and engagement with their peers nationally and internationally and create a platform for new partnerships to be forged with the private sector and industry stakeholders.

Before the signing ceremony, Professor Lewin updated the partners and Minister Pulford on Doherty’s research and mapping of the Omicron variant to help the State Government plan for its response and to protect the community.

The Victorian Government is investing up to $400 million for the AIID headquarters.

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Brendan Crabb AC

Director and CEO; Co-Head Malaria Research Laboratory; Chair, Victorian Chapter of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI)




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