• Australia’s first microbiome research centre
  • Australia’s first microbiome research centre

    The MRC is a comprehensive world-class microbiome-focused research centre solely dedicated to studying the microbiota in health and disease.

About MRC

Nestled within the grounds of a major health care campus in southern Sydney, the St George and Sutherland Hospitals, it was founded in 2017 by Prof Emad El- Omar, Professor of Medicine at UNSW Sydney. Development of the MRC was boosted tremendously by the efforts of the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation, which in 2017 was awarded a $4M grant from the Australian Federal Government and in 2018 an additional $1.5M by the NSW Government and $1M from the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District exclusively to support the setting up of the MRC.

Collaborative multidisciplinary microbiome research

The MRC is imbued with a collaborative multidiscipline ethos connecting national and international researchers, clinicians, bioinformaticians, innovators and entrepreneurs primarily through the partnership between St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation, UNSW Sydney, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. It offers unrivalled opportunities for training for the next generation of researchers in medicine and allied health specialties. It is here that basic science discovery drives better patient care and champions a healthy microbiome for a healthy life.

Areas of interest

The MRC is a comprehensive world-class microbiome-focused research centre committed to tackling diseases that affect the Australian population. Our researchers integrate basic science, translational medicine and harness powerful multi-omic approaches such as genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and microbiomics as well as bioinformatics to answer pertinent questions on the microbiome. We aim to build on our strengths and take advantage of emerging opportunities to expand our repertoire of microbiome related research. We are immensely proud to have strong core research in the following five themes:

THEME LEADER PROF EMAD EL-OMAR
THEME LEADER DR AMANDA HENRY
THEME LEADER T/C
THEME LEADER T/C
THEME LEADER T/C

About Microbiome

ABOUT MICROBIOME

Humans are host to an enormous invisible ecosystem of microbes that influence almost every system in the body. The most common microbes that live in or on our bodies are bacteria, archaea, viruses, protozoa and fungi. This intriguing community of microbes are collectively known as our microbiota.

What is the microbiome?

Our microbiota contributes to over fifty percent of our cellular makeup and can influence a wide range of physiological functions including our mood, appetite and immune responses. The collective genetic material of the microbiota, our microbiome, is remarkably dynamic. Our body harbours several niche composites of microbiome ecosystems within the gut, skin, reproductive tract, liver, eyes, mouth, nose and even within our belly button!

Why is microbiome research important?

We know very littleWe know very little about how our microbiome swings the pendulum between health and disease. What we do know is that there is an inextricable link between the diversity and balance of our microbiome and our susceptibility to disease.

The abundance of our thriving beneficial microbes keeps the pathogenic microbes in check and maintains a harmonious balance. However, when pathogenic microbes dominate, this balance is disturbed and we enter a state of dysbiosis. Dysbiosis is associated with several diseases including cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and asthma. Our lifestyle choices, our diet, our use of antibiotics and medications and the environment we live in can influence the composition of the microbiome.

Our research is realising the captivating potential of the human microbiome as a novel target for human health. By understanding how over 1 million genes contributed by the human microbiome, together with our 25,000 inherited genes nurture our state of health, we can better improve diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of several diseases.

 

  • OUR VISION
  • OUR VISION

    To be the preeminent comprehensive research centre on microbiome related research across the southern hemisphere.

OUR FACILITIES

The MRC epicentre and laboratories are based at the St George and Sutherland Hospital Campuses which are major teaching hospitals of the UNSW Sydney.