The emphasis of the School's research will be an understanding of the fundamental principles of human life processes and the pathologies of these processes which cause human disease.
Health through basic research
The next ten years will be the decade of integrating genomics with medicine, with the raw sequencing of the human and mouse genomes completed. The genomes of many important human infections have also been sequenced, such as the bacterial agent of tuberculosis.
The impact of these developments on medical research is two-fold. First, insight into the genes and molecules that guide health processes is catalysing a breakdown of traditional medical research disciplines, as researchers studying yeast, neuroscience, cancer, and immunology find that they are studying closely related molecules. Second, translating sequence information on genes into advances in understanding and treating human health and disease processes requires multidisciplinary skills, core tools, and facilities that are beyond the reach of individual research groups or departments.
The depth of expertise and unique core facilities in the School, and its close links with other research groups in the University, the ANU Medical School (ANUMS), the Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR), the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH), and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), have strategically placed the School to meet these challenges and lead the integration of genomics, gene regulation and signalling, immunity, neuroscience and physiology, in the Australian and world scene.
The School will undertake basic research in the core areas of:
- Gene regulation & cell signalling
- Neuroscience & integrative physiology
These fundamental investigations will be relevant to understanding many human diseases.
Core facilities & skill base
To ensure that the School realises these research objectives it must ensure that the necessary infrastructure and technologies are provided.
JCSMR within ANU
There are many synergies between the research outlined in this plan, and the research activities of other Schools and Departments. The School anticipates that there will be many opportunities to interact and share infrastructure in the field of genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and advanced imaging.