Griffith University has become a collaborating partner with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP), which will host a CNBP research node at the Institute for Glycomics at the Gold Coast campus.

As a research node and collaborating partner of the CNBP, Griffith joins the University of Adelaide, Macquarie University and RMIT University as a core member of the Centre of Excellence.

The Griffith-based CNBP research node, headed-up by Associate Professor Daniel Kolarich from the Institute for Glycomics, will add to CNBP’s research capability in the development of next-generation light-based tools that can sense and image at a cellular and molecular level.

“Our team has specialised glycan knowledge and expertise that will aid the Centre in its objectives of improving understanding and knowledge of cell-communication and the nanoscale molecular interactions in the living body,” Associate Professor Kolarich said.

“Glycans (sugar chains attached to proteins and lipids on the cell surface) are intricately involved in bacterial and viral infection, immune responses, cancers, lung disease, brain function, fertilisation, cardiovascular disease and a host of other cellular activities.

“As a node of the CNBP we will be working to extend our knowledge of these sugars – to be able to better sense and image their interactions, as well as to understand how they function at the molecular level, and ultimately how they shape the health and well-being of an individual.

“In the longer term we expect this work to lead to new and improved approaches to disease and ultimately new and innovative forms of clinical diagnosis.”

As prestigious hubs of research expertise, ARC Centres of Excellence bring high-quality researchers together to develop Australia’s international standing in research areas of national priority.

The CNBP is administered by the University of Adelaide and funded by the Australian Research Council until 2021.