Construction has begun on a new multi-million dollar institute dedicated to research into our most serious health problems.

Located next to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, the Translational Research Institute (TRI) will join only a handful of other centres of its kind in the world.

Amy Stewart reports.

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It mightn’t look like much now, but soon this jungle of pipes, cranes and hardhats will transform into this – the southern hemisphere’s only Translational Research Institute.

The Premier was keen to show her support at the start of construction today.

Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier: This is the missing piece of the puzzle in Australia’s medical science research effort and it’s absolutely terrific to have it being constructed here in Queensland.”

The institute will employ up to seven hundred scientists and focus on transforming scientific knowledge into medical cures.

This means, for the first time Australian scientists will be able to develop, test and manufacture drugs without having to go off shore.

It’s something the Institute’s creator has been dreaming about for more than twenty-five years.

Ian Fraser, Translational Research Institute: “To be quite blunt, we can’t wait to get in the door 18 months time.”

The Bligh Government injected $107-million into the Translational Research Institute project. But there’s no guarantee Ms. Bligh will be there when it opens its doors in May 2012.

Anna Bligh, Queensland Premier: “That’s a matter for the people of Queensland.”

The state Opposition has started the next phase of its war against the premier rolling out a new postcard attacking the state Government’s assets sale.

With the slogan “beautiful one day, sold the next”, the postcard will hit letter boxes across the state this week.

Amy Stewart, QUT News.