University partners with Genomics Aotearoa

Several members of Genomics Aotearoa visited the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington recently to celebrate the University joining its genomics research platform.

The University joins Genomics Aotearoa partners Otago, Auckland, Waikato and Massey Universities, AgResearch, ESR, Plant and Food Research and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research.

During the visit, Genomics Aotearoa Director Dr Peter Dearden met with the Vice-Provost of Research, Professor Margaret Hyland and Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor for Science, David Harper to discuss the opportunities the new collaboration will bring to the University.

"I’m delighted to see a University I have a lot of respect for join the team,” said Dr Dearden, “Victoria University of Wellington brings a whole set of skills and different ways of thinking that will be extremely valuable.”

Associate Professor Peter Ritchie from the School of Biological Sciences will represent the University on the Genomics Aotearoa Science Leadership Team and says the collaboration will provide a much needed platform to share ideas and grow research opportunities.

Genomics Aotearoa visit – A group of five pose together in front of a sign that reads, “School of Biological Sciences”.

“The main advantage of this new partnership is to enable us to connect with other researchers,” says Professor Ritchie, “We can share ideas and even find solutions to similar tech problems we have.”

“In the future, there will also be growing opportunities for a wider range of researchers at Victoria to become involved,” says Professor Ritchie.

Established in 2018, Genomics Aotearoa was set up to ensure New Zealand is internationally participating and leading in the rapidly developing fields of genomics and bioinformatics. It is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Strategic Science Investment Fund.

Genomics is the study of the genome, the set of genetic material present in a cell or organism, while bioinformatics is the development of methods and software tools for understanding the biological data derived from genomics. Genomics is fundamental to understanding and making use of biological systems.