Benjamin Kile, winner of the

Genetics University of Melbourne

The Department of Genetics was established in 1964 under the founding Chair of Genetics, Prof. Michael White. The present Genetics Department building (right) was opened on 19th April 1973. Since that time, the Department has grown in size and in the scope of Genetics research undertaken.

The Department currently has an academic and senior research staff of about 20 and over 50 postgraduate, MSc and Honours students and is supported by a dedicated group of administrative and technical staff. Members of the Department are currently located in the Genetics building, the Melbourne Brain Centre and the Bio21 Institute.

Genetics at the University of Melbourne has featured prominently in the history of Genetics in Australia and continues to make a major contribution to Genetics research and teaching. The Department teaches at all levels in the B.Sc and B. Biomed. Sci degrees and also has an extensive schools program. We have a vibrant research program ranging across fungal, plant, insect & mammalian systems in the areas of molecular, developmental, population and ecological genetics and genomics.

Research in the Department is focussed on the following areas of biology;
the genetics of cell division, fungal metabolism, gene regulation, development and pathogenicity, heavy metal homeostasis in plants, insects and mammalian cells, neurogenetics in insect and mammalian systems, ecological genetics and speciation in vertebrate and invertebrate systems.

In 2007 the Department received over $3.0 milllion in research funding from the Australian Research Council, NH&MRC, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and industry partners, including the International Copper Association, Novartis, Wool Innovation and the Cotton, Grains Development Council, Alpaca Genomics Australia, Parks Victoria, Gates Foundation, AINSE, Rowden White Foundation, USAid, and the Department of Environment & Water Resources.

History of Genetics in Australia
Download an edited version of "Australian genetics: a brief history" by D.A. McCann and P. Batterham.

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