Bendigo Bank Paradise Point joins the fight against COVID-19 by supporting vital Institute research

Bendigo Bank Paradise Point Community Bank Branch, long-standing supporters of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, have donated $10,000 in funding towards the Institute’s vital COVID-19 research, aiding their fight against the global pandemic.

Four teams of expert scientists from the Institute for Glycomics are targeting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to discover new vaccines and drugs to prevent or cure the disease.

The teams are led by the Institute’s group leaders Professor Mark von Itzstein AO, Professor Michael Good AO, Professor Michael Jennings, and Professor Johnson Mak, all world-renowned research scientists in their various fields of infectious diseases research.

“There is an urgent need for drugs to prevent or treat COVID-19 and a vaccine to prevent this disease,” said Professor von Itzstein. “However, acquiring the necessary funding to aid our research is of paramount importance.”

“We are extremely grateful to Bendigo Bank Paradise Point Community Bank Branch for this generous donation towards our research.

“Philanthropic donations, Government and community support enable us to fast track our research efforts, utilising state-of-the art equipment and an expert team of some of the greatest scientific minds in the field of infectious diseases.”

The vital funding has enabled the acquisition of an Avanti J-15R centrifuge, a new piece of equipment housed within the Institute’s Physical Containment Level 3 Facility. The high-speed refrigerated centrifuge is used to separate virus from culture media, and this particular model has the added features of bio-containment lids for working with highly infectious pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2.

Professor Mark von Itzstein AO (Institute for Glycomics), Mr Tony Jensen (Bendigo Bank) and Ms Cassandra Hugonnet (Bendigo Bank) pictured with the Avanti J-15R centrifuge

Bendigo Bank Paradise Point Community Bank Branch have contributed significantly to the Institute for Glycomics since the relationship began in 2014.

Their annual contributions have helped pave the way for the world’s future scientists through essential scholarship programs. Through their sponsorship of the Institute’s annual ‘Bendigo Bank Paradise Point Glycomics Summer Scholarship program’, multiple undergraduate students have been given the opportunity to further their research studies under the expert guidance of world-renowned research leaders at the Institute for Glycomics.

In previous years, their sponsorship enabled the purchase of a Tecan D300e Digital Dispenser, an important piece of research equipment which is shared across multiple biology laboratories and benefits several of the Institute’s research groups.

“These are challenging times for everyone. We are all facing a common enemy – COVID-19 — and our only hope, to be able to return to a sense of normality in the coming months, is research. The discovery and development of new vaccines and drugs to prevent or cure COVID-19,” said Tony Jensen, Senior Manager, Paradise Point Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank.

“Researchers at the Institute for Glycomics are actively pursuing this mission, but they need our support. We are so pleased that we’re able to contribute towards their fight against this insidious disease.”

The Institute for Glycomics has set a fundraising target of $1 million to make ground-breaking advances in their COVID-19 research. The funds would allow them to accelerate their drug and vaccine discovery programs. Their approach to drug discovery is to evaluate a library of over 3,000 existing drugs in novel screens, which is not being done anywhere else in Australia.

“The Institute for Glycomics is profoundly grateful to Bendigo Bank Paradise Point Community Bank Branch for their ongoing and vital support. This is a partnership that is helping us shape the world’s future scientists, and one that is positively influencing our critical fight against some of the world’s most devastating diseases, such as COVID-19,” said Professor von Itzstein.

To stand with us and join the fight against COVID-19 in supporting the vital research being done at the Institute for Glycomics, click here.

Your donation could quite literally save millions of lives.