Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


CellBank is helping researchers tackle Australia’s deadliest diseases


Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) kill over 38 million people globally. The four main NCDs identified by the World Health Organisation are: cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes mellitus. While NCDs were responsible for 68% of global mortality in 2012, the mortality rate was 80% in Japan and 90% in Australia (WHO).

NCDs are a common scientific and technological issue faced by both Australia and Japan, as is infrastructure deficiencies. Australia needs to improve its ability to translate its research into commercially viable biomedical treatments, and Japan needs to tap into research facilities and human resources beyond its borders.

To mark the Australia-Japan Foundation 40th anniversary, the not-for-profit cell-line repositories, CellBank Australia and JCRB Cell Bank, will disburse 40 cell-lines to Australia-based Non Communicable Disease (NCD) researchers, free-of-charge.  

“We thank the Australian-Japan Foundation for $33,000. Essentially, this funding will enable CellBank to give away valuable cell lines to researchers who critically need them for studying four of the deadliest diseases affecting both nations. This will improve the quality of research in these areas and improve science and technology capability in Japan and Australia,” said CellBank Australia General manager, Mark Shannon.

Additional bilateral NCD research collaborations and a strengthened Australian capacity for high quality research, an objective of the ‘Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs, will result.

Julie Bishop MP, the Foreign Minister, in a related media release states:
“The AJF Grants Program is designed to strengthen links between our two countries by supporting activities that bring innovative perspectives to how we engage with Japan. Australia's special strategic partnership with Japan is vital to our economic, strategic and security interests….”
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