Blogs

Bio21 Director’s Message - Losing Sight of Lorne - 23 February 2021

For nearly 30 years now, I’ve embarked on an annual pilgrimage to the Lorne Proteins Conference. I’m lured from the office and lab by the sun and the sound of the crashing surf, the rainforest walks to hidden waterfalls, koalas spotted drunkenly lolling on gum tree limbs, kangaroos on the golf courses and salty hot fish ‘n chips on the beach. All whilst consuming an intellectual feast of protein science.

Bio21 Director’s Message - 12 reasons to be optimistic about 2021 at Bio21 - 5 February 2021

The year 2020 brought bushfires, that threatened and destroyed communities and ecosystems; and two waves of coronavirus infection, that locked down our city and state for three months, isolating us from our extended families and social networks.  Our research was put on ice and our lectures moved online. Our confidence was dented and our sense of optimism for the future maybe dampened. What will 2021 bring? 

Bio21 Director's Message - The Joy of Giving - 23 December 2020

With a newsfeed dominated by COVID-19 updates, you probably skimmed over or missed this headline in the Guardian newspaper 19 September this year: “Billionaire Chuck Feeney achieves goal of giving away his fortune. Irish-American mogul’s philanthropic foundation runs out of cash after 38 years.

Bio21 Director's Message - Funding Freedom to Fail...& Discover - 14 December 2020

To have the opportunity to make discoveries that win Nobel Prizes or to make an impact on the lives of people, scientists need long term, consistent funding, that provides the opportunity to take a risk, explore, fail and stumble upon something new and exciting.

Bio21 Director’s Message: Acknowledging different experiences and impacts of Covid-19 on Bio21 community members - 19 November 2020

As we slowly approach a “COVID-normal” return to Bio21, I thought it worth reflecting, in a series of invited Digest messages, on the hardships some of our community have endured and continue to endure by the pandemic. However, it has been heartening to see that some exciting new opportunities also have and will emerge as we return to Bio21. In this message our Associate Director for Engagement, Sally Gras, reflects on her experience over the last few months followed by some observations from David Stroud and Kim Kwan:

Bio21 Guest Message: Matt Hardy, CSL – Parkville History Essay - 5 November 2020

The “Welcome to Country” said at the start of Bio21 events should continually remind us that until the mid-19th century and for thousands of years before that, the Parkville precinct had been in continual use by the Woi wurrung people as a camping ground and for Corroborees with the neighbouring Boon wurrung, Wathaurong and Taungurong peoples, with known sites within Royal Park and on either side of Sydney Road.

Director's Message - A protein, a project and a new department - 21 October 2020

The ‘CRP’-collaboration story started with a media release and a meeting more than 10 years ago. The conversation sowed the seeds of an idea for a collaboration. It has developed into a promising drug development project which is now being progressed under the auspices of the new Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health, created in a partnership between the Baker Institute and the University of Melbourne. 

Bio21 Guest Message - Tony Duncan, Circa Group - 6 October 2020

As with many small companies at the beginning of the pandemic, Circa took a number of steps to maintain a sustainable cashflow, and combined with the goodwill from organisations we work with (including Bio21), we have managed to keep all our staff productively employed. Teams / Zoom / Webex / Blue Jeans / Facetime and Skype have played a major part in “enabling” business during the past six months, and it will be interesting to watch the medium term impact of these technologies as things start to ease back to normal. However, the effect on people – unable to get back to the lab, lack of ability to travel, and for our generations the first time ever having to cope under quite strict “conditions for living” has meant different and often difficult challenges.

Bio21 Director's Message - Dreaming of Conference Destinations - 18 September 2020

Did you cancel your trip to a conference this year? Were you dreaming of boarding a plane and heading to New York, or Bern, Singapore or Siena? Like most people’s holiday plans this year, SARS-CoV-2 has meant conference plans have either been postponed or they have become “virtual”.

Bio21 Guest Message - Prof Emeritus Andrew Holmes - A Journey Through Bio21 - 31 August 2020

Bio21 was established to harness, communicate and exploit the numerous opportunities in the field as a result of the presence of the richly endowed Parkville biomedical precinct. It has provided the best laboratory facilities that I have ever experienced.  It really is a palace. With the expectation of interdisciplinary collaborations over a wide variety of disciplines there is ample opportunity for every member to conduct creative and productive research at the interface. As Chemistry is such a central science it is perfectly positioned to capitalise on these opportunities as has become evident from the productive output of my colleagues in Chemistry as well as from the many other occupants of Bio21. It is a special privilege to be able to work in Bio21.

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