The University of Newcastle is set to lead the way in genetic research with the arrival of a new technology that will deliver unprecedented accuracy.
The Faculty of Health has purchased a state-of-the-art DNA analysis system, an Affymetrix GeneTitan scanner, thanks to a Genome Wide Association Studies special initiative grant worth $552,000. The scanner is one of only two in Australia and will provide the ability to rapidly acquire significant amounts of genetic data for the study of disease.
The equipment will analyse more than 700,000 genetic signals in a single experiment and cut the time to genotype 2,000 cases from eight months to just three to four weeks.
This opportunity will bring together diverse research interests ranging from public health to laboratory-based medicine aimed at better understanding common diseases such as cancer, auto-immune diseases, heart disease and stroke.
Professor Rodney Scott of the University’s Faculty of Health said the equipment would provide a springboard for more studies into the genetic basis of disease.
“The GeneTitan scanner will allow us to rapidly genotype large amounts of people in short periods of time and have a significant impact on the Faculty of Health’s ability to collaborate nationally and internationally. It will put us at the forefront of many studies of genetic research.”
This technology will enable the faculty to support existing research with state-of-the-art data, such as the Hunter Community Study - long term research studying age-related diseases that has provided a significant amount of epidemiological information on both environmental and genetic factors associated with ageing.
Faculty of Health Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Talley said the new technology had application to epidemiological and genetic projects across many fields of health and medical research.
“The purchase of the new scanner will keep the genotyping facilities in Newcastle at the cutting edge of technology.”
Dr Scott is a member of the Hunter Medical Research Institute, a partnership between Hunter New England Health, the University of Newcastle and the community.
To interview Professor Rodney Scott or Professor Nick Talley or for photo opportunity: Contact Media and Public Relations Officer Carmen Swadling on 02 4985 4276 or 0428 038 477.