Queensland scientists undertaking ground-breaking genetic research have received a $25-million boost from the state government.

The Queensland Brain Institute is aiming to unlock the causes of complex genetic diseases such as cancer and autism.

Gabrielle Baker reports.


Genomics is the study of “genomes” the DNA contained in each cell in a human body.

The Queensland Brain Institute is among the world leaders in the field studying a range of conditions which have a genetic component, including heart disease, neurological disorders and cancer.

Cameron Dick, Minister for Health: “DNA is the building block of human life. The more we know about DNA, the more we know about genetic sequencing, the better we can deliver healthcare to Queensland.”

Genomes can be used to measure the risk of developing many diseases and have already been used to tackle “superbugs” and antibiotic resistance.

Peter Hoj, Vice-Chancellor University of Queensland: “I am very hopeful that people not only will be diagnosed earlier but also will have more appropriate treatment for whatever condition is inflicted on them.”

Researchers say the understanding of genomics technology has been revolutionised over the past five years.

An annual $5-million boost over the next five years will allow the University of Queensland’s research team to work with their partners QUT, QIMR Berghofer, the CSIRO and Queensland Health.

Researchers say in as little as 20 years time a simple blood test could enable doctors to personalise your healthcare.

The benefits to the population could be enormous.

Many health conditions have a genetic component and genomics are expected to play a major role in the future of healthcare.

Gabrielle Baker QUT News.