In Focus: Institute for Molecular Bioscience

In Focus: Institute for Molecular Bioscience Learn more about the institutes we support through our In Focus series.

The Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) is a global leader in multidisciplinary life sciences research, bringing together 500 researchers from across the globe for disease discovery, application and sustainable futures. 

Formed in 2000 as an initiative of The University of Queensland, State and Federal Governments and private philanthropy, IMB is one of the largest life sciences institutes in the Asia-Pacific region. It has capitalised on one of the greatest periods of discovery in history – the genetic and molecular basis of life and its diversity.
Institute scientists use a range of model systems and facilities to advance their research in chemistry and structural biology, genomics of development and disease, and in cell biology and molecular medicine.
IMB’s combination of life, pharmacological and chemical researchers means that the Institute can take life science discoveries from genome to drug design and application – for health, disease and for the sustainability of our cities, fuels and foods.
Through the vision of our Institute, the passion of our researchers, IMB pulls the pieces together, sees the bigger picture and asks the burning questions.


Meet a scientist we've funded at The Institute for Molecular Bioscience

Professor Brandon Wainwright
Professor Brandon Wainwright is a geneticist, renowned for discovering the genetic pathway that causes most human cancer. He is skilled in molecular genetics, where he is using genetic approaches to dig through DNA and find the genes that cause disease.
He commenced using these skills to locate the cystic fibrosis gene, but it was when isolating a gene responsible for a rare form of brain cancer called medulloblastoma, that he discovered the ‘Hedgehog Pathway.'

He discovered not only the first brain cancer-causing gene but also a pathway involved in most cancers of all types.
The primary focus of his current research is brain cancer because it is the most common cause of death in children and the most common cause of cancer-related death in people under 40. He is also applying his expertise to common cancer generally (particularly skin cancer), and neurodegenerative disease.
Success for Professor Wainwright will be seeing a child cured of brain cancer that would otherwise have died. And he is confident that he can help make it happen.
He is Director of UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience, where he proudly leads a team of talented discovery scientists translating their findings to life-changing applications.


Read more: New therapies for incurable paediatric brain tumours.


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