Affiliation: Division of Systems Biology and Personalized Medicine, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia.
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) is Australia’s longest serving medical research institute. WEHI’s High Throughput Screening (HTS) Facility was established in 2003 with $5 million of infrastructure funds invested by WEHI, and the Victorian State Government’s Strategic Technology Initiative through Bio21 Australia Ltd. The Facility was Australia’s first truly academic HTS facility and was one of only a handful operating in publicly funded institutions worldwide at that time. The objectives were to provide access to enabling HTS technologies, such as assay design, liquid handling automation, compound libraries and expertise to promote translation of basic research in a national setting that has a relatively young biotech sector and does not have a big Pharma research presence. Ten years on and the WEHI HTS Facility has participated in over 92 collaborative projects, generated over 18 million data points, and most importantly, projects that began in the Facility have been commercialized successfully (due to strong ties with Business Development and emphasis on intellectual property management) and now have molecules progressing in clinical trials.