Saturday, June 4, 2016

University of Melbourne

Today we visited the University of Melbourne and a couple of the research facilities within it.
Today we visited the University of Melbourne and a couple of the research facilities within it. The first research center we went to was called Bio21 which focused on biomedical technologies. We heard from a researcher in the Metabolomics lab where they specialize in researching the specific metabolites within organisms. This is a very fundamental way to understand how organisms work and how they interact with other things.

Next in Bio21, we visited the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) room, which is essentially the same technology used in an MRI scan. The NMR room has 9 spectrometers, servicing both the University of Melbourne and customers in the biotech industry. The 9 NMR machines are of different frequencies, offering different resolutions.

Also in Bio21, we heard brief talks by researchers testing and improving a printable solar cell ink that can be used on everyday printers, reducing the cost of harnessing solar energy. We also met with some researchers who are studying treatments for Malaria. Our next stop within the University of Melbourne is to the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology where we went on a few lab tours and talked with some postdoc researchers. An interesting technology we learned about were metal phenolic networks which is a technology to form capsules that become pH responsive drug carrier, which hypothetically can be used to deliver cancer treatments on the site of cancer as the cancer tissue is at a different pH as normal tissue. We also got to have a lunch with a few students and talk about school life at University of Melbourne.

We then went to Lab-14, the home of the Carlton Connect Innovation Program, which is an initiative to help band together industry, community, and students. Inside the building is an art gallery and a start-up incubation center.

Finally, we visited University of Melbourne’s supercomputer, the BlueGene/Q, which specializes in data storage and data analysis, particularly with regard to biostatistics.