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A*STAR and the Australian National University establish immunology research collaboration

A*STAR's Centre for Molecular Medicine (CMM) and The Australian National University's Australian Phenomics Facility (ANU APF) have established an immunology research partnership focusing on autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 Diabetes.

A Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA) was signed by Associate Professor Kong-Peng Lam, acting executive director of A*STAR's Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) and Professor Ian Chubb AO, Vice Chancellor, ANU today at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR) at ANU in Canberra, Australia.

The RCA was signed in the presence of Prime Minister of Singapore Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, who is on an official visit to Australia. The partnership in leading edge biomedical research represents a new milestone in the bilateral relationship Singapore shares with Australia. It will yield new knowledge and understanding in immunology and pave the way for other research collaborations between the two countries.

"This partnership further cements the close collaborative relationship ANU has with Singapore and will enhance research efforts in both countries," Professor Chubb said.

The collaborative research program will focus on understanding the causes and manifestations of Type 1 Diabetes and other autoimmune and immunopathological disorders. It will study the functions of genes and proteins that are involved in immune tolerance and how their dysfunctions could lead to the failure of an individual's immune system to recognise its own cells and tissues and result in immune cells attacking self organs and tissues - a phenomenon known as autoimmune disease. For example, in Type 1 Diabetes, immune cells attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, thereby affecting an individual's ability to regulate blood glucose levels. Other examples of autoimmune diseases are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

The insight to be gained on the mechanisms leading to autoimmune diseases may enable t
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Contact: Jane O'Dwyer
61-251-255-001
Research Australia
14-Jun-2006


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