Scientific divisions

Scientific divisions

Gloved hands pipetting sample in lab

ACRF Chemical Biology

The ACRF Chemical Biology division aims to discover new medicines. We use structural, chemical and molecular biology approaches along with medicinal chemistry and high-throughput screening, to identify and validate novel therapeutic targets.

ACRF Cancer Biology and Stem Cells

The ACRF Cancer Biology and Stem Cells division is focused on breast, lung, ovarian and rare cancers. 

We are working to understand normal organ development and the problems in this process that give rise to cancer, with a view to discovering new therapies. 

Advanced Technology and Biology

Our division uses advanced and emerging technologies, along with powerful computational resources, to accelerate scientific discoveries.

With these tools we aim to obtain new insights into how diseases develop, spread and respond to treatment.


Scientists in the Bioinformatics division use methods from mathematics, statistics, and computer science to solve problems in medical research.

Our research includes developing new methods to analyse complex biomedical data as well as applying computational methods to discover fundamental processes in human health and disease.

Blood Cells and Blood Cancer

Our division investigates the processes that drive normal blood cell development. 

We aim to identify the nature of defects that subvert these processes, causing the development of cancer.

Clinical Translation

Our team is led by clinician scientists who run research laboratories at the Institute and hold clinical appointments in Melbourne hospitals. 

Epigenetics and Development

Researchers in our division study how cell growth and differentiation is regulated in normal development and in disease.

Our aim is to utilise this knowledge to identify potential new targets for therapy.


Members of the Immunology division are dedicated to finding out how the immune system works and how it might be manipulated to achieve new disease treatments.

Infectious Diseases and Immune Defence

Our division aims to gain knowledge and make discoveries that will aid in the prevention, treatment and management of infectious diseases. The nature of our research spans laboratory work, field work, and testing new therapies all the way to the clinic.


Researchers in the Inflammation division are working to develop a detailed understanding of the triggers that promote inflammation and how this can lead to disease. 

We aim to harness this knowledge to develop new diagnostics and treatments for inflammatory diseases.

Personalised Oncology

In the Personalised Oncology division clinicians and scientists are working together to reduce the impact of cancer in our community. 

We aim to progress personalised strategies for the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Population Health and Immunity

In our division we're applying advanced technologies to high-quality epidemiologic studies of human populations. This work enables us to uncover fundamental biological insights that can lead to the development of new tools for treatment and diagnosis.

Structural Biology

The Structural Biology division is interested in discovering new medicines through studies of the three-dimensional structure of large biological molecules that are either targets for drugs or potential therapeutic agents in their own right.

Ubiquitin Signalling

Our division is working to understand the underlying biology of ubiquitin-mediated processes in cells, with a particular focus on those associated with human diseases. A key aim is to enable translation of our ubiquitin research into clinical applications.

Wai-Hong Tham with collaborators in her office

"Science doesn't exist as an island."

Molecular parasitologist and lab head, Dr Wai-Hong Tham talks about collaboration at the institute.