Westmead Research Hub strengthens research power with CSIRO

An artist’s render of the proposed Westmead Innovation Quarter on the corner of Darcy Rd and Hawkesbury Rd.

Scientists from the  Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia’s national science agency, will officially be joining one of the country’s largest health precincts at Westmead.

The move will see some of CSIRO’s best and brightest minds join the research community at the forefront of health and medical research innovation across NSW.

CSIRO Health and Biosecurity Director Dr Rob Grenfell said the agency is excited to establish new and deepen existing connections with the active research community helping to solve Australia’s greatest health challenges.

“CSIRO has a successful history of being entrenched in health precincts across Australia. We know from experience precincts are powerful hubs of innovation where we can collaborate with health services, medical research institutes, universities and the community,” Dr Grenfell said.

“We look forward to bringing our research expertise to Westmead as well as enhancing our research collaborations to help service the unique health challenges of greater western Sydney and beyond.”

The Westmead Research Hub Council chair, Professor Jeremy Chapman, and executive chair, Professor Roger Reddel, welcomed the announcement of CSIRO’s plans to bring their excellent research teams to the Westmead Health Precinct.

“CSIRO already has a number of joint projects working with our teams and we greatly look forward to working closer with CSIRO in the years ahead as this proximity will help synergise our joint efforts,” Prof Reddel said.

Researchers from CSIRO’s Australian e-Health Research Centre and Nutrition and Health teams will be moving to the Westmead Innovation Quarter in 2021, creating a number of industry focused Innovation Hubs and establishing the Westmead Lab of the Future. The Westmead Lab of the Future will be a digital smart lab designed to accelerate the application of novel diagnostics research.

These teams have been responsible for scientific excellence addressing some of Australia’s significant healthcare challenges. These include:

  • Utilising bioinformatic algorithms to support Australia’s response to COVID-19
  • Development and commercialisation of epigenetic- and protein-based blood tests for cancer. Tools include Colvera™ and ColoSTAT™
  • Development of clinical terminology tools to improve interoperability of data across health and medical record systems to enhance virtual care. This underpins the Australian government’s National Clinical Terminology Service as well as the National Health Service in the UK
  • Development of diet and lifestyle change programs such as the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, the CSIRO Low Carb Diet, and the Gut Health Book.

This builds on research already underway with partners at the Westmead Precinct, which includes a gene therapy project with the Children’s Medical Research Institute.

The Westmead Health Precinct is one of the largest health, education, research and training precincts in Australia and a key provider of jobs for the greater Parramatta and western Sydney region.