An integrated research precinct

The molecular life sciences are focused on understanding life’s processes from the bottom up by studying molecules, the building blocks of life, and how they move and interact in time and space. This understanding of how proteins and cells behave and interact at the molecular level is critical to developing new ways to detect and fight diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s to developing new classes of antibiotics to fight Superbugs.

At Molecular Horizons, we are dedicated to making this happen – illuminating how life works at a molecular level. Not surprisingly the study of such tiny, complex structures requires revolutionary technology.

Our brand new building will house cutting-edge equipment to attract and retain some of the world's best researchers in the molecular science field. The centrepiece of the building will be the ultra-high resolution Titan Krios cryo-electron microscope, one of only a handful in the world and the second of its kind in Australia. The three-metre tall, one tonne, Titan Krios microscope enables scientists to see with accuracy and speed what previous generations of microscope could not see. The unprecedented sharpness of the images will allow researchers to see how proteins work and will enable new health-related breakthroughs. 

The new building will be co-located in a connected precinct with existing UOW research strengths in the areas of physical chemistry, biological chemistry and medicinal chemistry, as well as cell, molecular and whole-organism biology in the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI). It will also be closely located with undergraduate and post-graduate teaching facilities to help provide a seamless transition for students.

Molecular Horizons Facility Timelapse

The scaffolding has come down. The builders are slowly finishing up their work. The offices have been cleaned. The groundbreaking Molecular Horizons building is ready for its new tenants. It marks the next chapter in the construction of Molecular Horizons, a world-leading science research facility located right in the Illawarra

Molecular life science is focused on understanding proteins, the little machines inside our cells that are responsible for general life and how we stay healthy. The field is going through a revolution. We finally have the technology, in the Titan Krios, to visualise and understand molecules and use that understanding to develop new treatments and therapies to combat disease.Professor Antoine van OijenUniversity of Wollongong