AITHM has recently completed construction of a world-class infectious diseases research facility in Townsville, incorporating PC2 and PC3 certified laboratories, animal holding spaces, offices, a Biobank for clinical and epidemiological samples and meeting rooms.
The new facility accommodates both laboratory based and clinical researchers, as well as staff and students in key supporting disciplines including biostatistics, epidemiology, bioinformatics, and health economics.
It is located in an existing health research precinct adjacent to The Townsville Hospital to foster collaborative interaction and support translational research. The Translational Research Facility on the ground level has day clinics that support testing of telehealth approaches and methodologies, and research requiring community consultation. Its’ laboratories support research on TB, melioidosis, Group A streptococci, malaria, vaccine development, immunology and chronic disease research.
Key features of the new facility
Focus on re-emerging bacterial diseases
This new research facility will allow for researchers to focus on re-emerging bacterial diseases for which tropical Australians are at significant risk, such as tuberculosis, meliodosis and Q fever and communicable disease diagnostics and control, vector borne diseases such as Zika virus, malaria and lymphatic filariasis.
Building research capacity
Importantly, the facility will also provide accommodation for research and training associated with translational research and early phase clinical trials, as well as provide space for researchers in key supporting disciplines, including biostatistics, epidemiology, bioinformatics and health economics.
The facility will also include a biobank for clinical and epidemiological samples.
The Queensland State Government provided $21.49M for the project, while the Australian Government, via the Australian Research Council's Special Research Initiative Scheme, provided $8M in funding for the construction of these facilities.
The state of the art facility was officially opened on 7 October 2016 by the Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk.