It may have been cold and dreary outside, but inside 15 Innovation Walk, it was bright, busy and bursting at the seams with brilliance- this was the buzzing atmosphere inside ARMI as it ‘opened the vault’.
On Tuesday night, ARMI opened its lab doors for the second time, in partnership with Convergence Science Network. We welcomed members of the general public to take a peek at our breakthrough regenerative medicine and stem cell science, our world-class facilities and the cutting edge techniques and technologies. ARMI scientists took people from all walks of life through a journey of discovery, dedication and a deep desire to expand our knowledge of the human body but also to improve the lives of patients.
“As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of ARMI, it was important for us to really remind ourselves why we do what we do- we do it for people, to help others. In scientific research, when you delve so deeply into the mechanics of a protein or why this cell expresses this gene and not the other, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Opening the Vault is a way to re-energise and reinvigorate ourselves, to refresh in our minds our purpose,” said ARMI Institute Director, Professor Pete Currie.
“As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of ARMI, it was important for us to really remind ourselves why we do what we do- we do it for people, to help others.” Professor Peter Currie
To kick off the sold-out event, we heard from some of ARMI’s biggest supporters and champions, both internal and external. In addition to our Institute Director, we heard from Monash University Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Marc Parlange; Member of Parliament for Oakleigh, Steve Dimopoulous; Executive Director of Convergence Science Network, Luan Ismahil; and the night’s Chief Organiser and ARMI PhD student, Celia Vandestadt.
Throughout the night, we had over 150 people visit ARMI’s labs, facilities (including our popular zebrafish tanks), talking to our scientists and peering down our microscopes. Such open access made it possible for our visitors to engage with the breadth and depth of ARMI’s research, from cardiac development to the intersection of immunity and regeneration.
“Effectively communicating our work, what it entails, what we find and its potential is so important in several different ways. It’s a critical skill for all scientists to develop, but it also helps us in maintaining public support for our research. Events like Opening the Vault strengthen our outreach and engagement program, and galvanise our commitment to and relationship with the public. After all, it is the public that helps fund most of our research,” commented Celia.
“Effectively communicating our work, what it entails, what we find and its potential is so important in several different ways.” Celia Vandestadt
Thank you to Luan from Convergence Science Network, our organising committee and of course, our army of ARMI volunteers for putting together and contributing to another successful Opening the Vault event at ARMI. We look forward to many more in the future!