Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences


Centres of Research Excellence

The Faculty of Science hosts two government-funded Centre of Research Excellence (CORE).

Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery


The Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery is headed by Assoc. Professor Rod Dunbar. It brings together a cross-disciplinary group of leading academics from the faculties of Science, Engineering and Medical and Health Sciences. The research focus is on the new opportunities of the post-geonomic era, with integrated programmes in structural biology, proteomics, microbial genomics, drug development and biomodelling.

The actual research is a mix of leading-edge fundamental research, with strong possibilities for applications. Highlights include the structural analysis of key proteins involved in tuberculosis, the discovery of new virulence proteins from pathogenic bacteria, and the use of proteomics to find new therapeutic agents for diabetes.

Key academic staff

Professor Peter Hunter (Bioengineering) leads an ambitious international programme to model cellular behaviour. Professor Bill Denny (Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre) and Professor Garth Cooper (School of Biological Sciences) lead drug development programmes that have resulted in promising new drugs against cancer and diabetes and have resulted in new commercial enterprises. One compound, Laszarin, is currently undergoing Phase IIb clinical trials.

With its extensive national and international networks, the centre's goal is to be the engine room of New Zealand's future pharmaceutical industry.

More information is available at: www.mauricewilkinscentre.org

Te Punaha Matatini


Te Pūnaha Matatini – ‘the meeting place of many faces’ – is a Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland that will develop methods and approaches for transforming complex data about New Zealand’s environment, economy, and society into knowledge, tools, and insight for making better decisions.

Shaun Hendy is Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini and Professor of Physics at the University of Auckland.

More information is available at: Te Punaha Matatini