06 June 2006

The University of Queensland (UQ) has welcomed the $60 million in new funding from the Queensland Government pledged in the State Budget today.

Most of the funding will go to UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), which will receive $50 million over five years to begin in 2009-2010. The IMB is currently funded until 2008-2009.

UQ Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Hay, AC, said the funding would be tremendously important to continuing the internationally recognised research of the IMB.

“The continuation of this funding for another five years will give the IMB the security it needs to conduct research which will lead to improvements in the lives of Queenslanders and people around the world,” Professor Hay said.

“Without the Queensland Government's support, the IMB and UQ's other world-renowned institutes would not be able to achieve their incredible potential.

“The State Government, through funding from its Smart State Strategy, has been a key player in the success of the IMB.”

The IMB, which was founded in 2000, has quickly gained an international reputation for quality research.

One of the recent discoveries to come from IMB was made by Professor Peter Koopman and his team, who found why males produce sperm and females produce eggs.

Professor Koopman's lab is now conducting a one-year pilot program aimed at producing “daughterless” cane toads – toads that could only give birth to males.

Professor Hay also welcomed a significant boost from the Budget for research based at UQ's Gatton campus.

“The planned Centre for Advanced Animal Science, due to start construction at the end of the year, gains an additional new $8.3 million in capital funding through the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries,” Professor Hay said.

“The Centre for Native Floriculture will also receive $1.69 million over three years to continue its significant research into Queensland's unique native plants and their commercial potential.

“This important work also generates economic and employment opportunities for regional Queensland.”

Media inquiries: Fiona Kennedy at UQ Communications (07 3365 1088, 0413 380 012).

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