The Maurice Wilkins Centre began its first iteration as the Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, one of seven New Zealand centres of research excellence formed in 2003 following the Governments announcement of the establishment of facilities that integrated New Zealand's "best and brightest" to foster, promote and advance knowledge.
The Centre began its life in 2003 with the coming together of five major research groups within the University of Auckland - New Zealands top research-led University*. Each research group had its own scientific interests and directions and independently received funds from national and international funding agencies. There had been several successful collaborations between the groups prior to the establishment of the Centre, but it was the realisation of the shared interests and combined expertise that each group could provide to common goals of research excellence in the biomedical and biotechnology field that made the MWC more than just the sum of its parts.
Since it's inception 3 years ago, exciting new projects have arisen that utilise knowledge, facilities, equipment and support from all parts of the Centre. Those who benefit the most are the PhD students, who are supervised by scientists across the traditional groups. Science is about people and ideas, and successful science only comes from allowing successful people the time, resources, space and freedom to operate. This is the intention of Centre of Excellence. It takes time for new ideas and synergies to develop, but after 3 years, the MWC is going strong with an international stature as New Zealand's pre-eminent centre of biomedical research.
* Auckland University ranked number 1 in the national Performance Based Research Fund assessment and 26th in the world in Biomedical Science by the 2006 Times Higher Education Supplement