Health and Medicine

Cutting-edge exhibition mixes art with science

If I asked you to look deep inside yourself, what would you see?

If you’re drawing a blank, don’t worry. A new exhibition at Melbourne Museum – Biomedical Breakthroughs: A New View of You – will help you fill in the gaps! Biomedical Breakthroughs literally gets under the skin and down to the cellular level to show exactly what’s happening in your body, both when it’s working and when it’s not.

Biomedical Breakthroughs is a science exhibition with a difference. It explores the work of two leading Melbourne based research organisations, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and CSL, and is the perfect fusion of the contemporary cutting-edge with real historical insight. These are incredible Melbourne stories from research teams that have changed the face of global public health – their influence cannot be overestimated.

Melbourne has long been a world leader in scientific and biomedical research, with thanks in large part to the extraordinary research breakthroughs pioneered by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and CSL. Over the course of 100 years, these two Melbourne-based organisations have been breaking new ground across research areas that have changed the world.

From pioneering research into antivenoms in the 1920s and 30s – so essential to a country with the most venomous snakes in the world – to contemporary research breakthroughs that include a potential vaccine for coeliac disease and a new cancer treatment, the outcomes of these extraordinary researchers will be celebrated in this all-new exhibition.

Biomedical Breakthroughs will tell the story of these incredible breakthroughs but shakes up the history to explore them at a cellular level. Using the exquisite large format projections created by biomedical animator Drew Berry, as well as an interactive cancer molecule spinner – the same technology that researchers use to find weaknesses in a cancerous cell – and a ‘space invaders’ game that lets audiences target viruses in the immune system, Biomedical Breakthroughs is a stunning new look at a century of research achievement.

Johanna Simkin, Curator of Biomedical Breakthroughs says:

“Visitors will be blown away with the exquisite, chaotically-coordinated biology bubbling away inside their own bodies. Presented in stunning animations and objects, this unique exhibition explores themes of blood, antivenom, immunity and more — all with a Melbourne twist.

Many do not realise the significant impact Melbourne’s research community has had on the biomedical field – from pioneering snake antivenom research 100 years ago, to Nobel Prize-winning theories in immunology, to today’s ground-breaking plasma and cancer therapies. Melbournians will love this visual extravaganza, they will hear home-grown stories, and can discover the intricate beauty of the biology inside them.”

Biomedical Breakthroughs: A New View of You runs 2 September – 20 January at Melbourne Museum. Entry is included with Melbourne Museum entry.

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