There are eightin New Zealand. They are national centres designed to encourage communication and collaboration. As such, they provide a perfect place for new ideas and technologies to develop and be tested.
David Ackerley (, Wellington): I’m an associate investigator of the Maurice Wilkins Centre, which is what’s called a Centre of Research Excellence. Basically, being an associate investigator means you’re under this umbrella with all of these other very, very talented people.
Collaboration is extremely important for the type of research I do, because it’s very multidisciplinary. We have medicinal chemists who make these prodrugs, we have people like myself who are working with the enzymes that can activate the prodrugs, and then we need people who are good with viruses, can put our genes into those viruses and other people who can introduce them into humanand actually monitor how effective they are. And the general theme is to try and discover new drugs that are going to advance human health.