JCU to get world-class medical research facility

9 January 2015

Watpac Constructions has been announced as the winning contractor to build a $31-million world-class research facility for the Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine (AITHM) at James Cook University in Townsville.
Watpac and JCU signed the contract for the construction of the tropical health research facility that incorporates a translational research facility.

JCU Medical School
JCU is known for its tropical health and medicine research

AITHM was awarded $21.5 million from the Queensland Government through the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, $8 million from the Federal Government, and $1.5 million from James Cook University for the Townsville building, to enhance tropical health and medicine research capacity in northern Queensland.
JCU’s Deputy Vice Chancellor of Services and Resources, Tricia Brand, said she’s delighted to announce Watpac as the winning contractor.
“This investment into research in northern Queensland will support the development of infrastructure and research particularly relevant to tropical infectious diseases and health security.
“The Townsville facility will complement the AITHM infrastructure that is proposed for Cairns and the Torres Strait,” said Ms Brand.
The Tropical Health Research Facility will be a world-class infectious diseases research facility incorporating PC2 and PC3 laboratories.
Integrated within the building will be a translational research facility to aid in the transfer of knowledge from basic sciences into the development of new treatments.
Watpac Construction QLD/NT State Manager, Drew Brockhurst said the project builds on the company’s strong relationship with the university and Watpac’s experience in delivering world-class education facilities.
“Watpac is proud to be delivering the AITHM facility for James Cook University.”
AITHM’s Director, Louis Schofield, said the facility will bring together the research capacity and expertise to focus on health issues for northern Queensland and the Asia-Pacific region.
The building will also have biological facilities, specialist laboratory support spaces and offices for AITHM staff.
The primary contribution of the facility will be in health security research, which will include the development of diagnostics tools, vaccines, and the identification of bacterial pathogens.

About James Cook University Medical School

The JCU School of Medicine specializes in rural and remote medicine. The program has a unique place among Australian medical schools. The course is undertaken entirely in northern Australia and has an emphasis on tropical medicine, the health of rural and remote communities, and of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. The medical program is informed by a concern for social justice, innovation and excellence in medical education, research and service.
Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Next semester intake: February 2016
Duration: 6 years

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