SCU specialist scientists step up research into cannabis use
SOUTHERN Cross University researchers are boosting their involvement in cannabis research including medicinal use.
Director of Southern Cross Plant Science, Professor Graham King, said the University was responding to the increased investment from the public and private sectors for research and development associated with different valuable end uses of cannabis.
The NSW Government recently announced the establishment of a $12 million Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation, which will be headed up by NSW chief scientist Mary O'Kane.
"Southern Cross University plant scientists have welcomed the opportunity to join the research network," Professor King said.
"We look forward to the new opportunities this centre will bring to NSW.
"The commitment by the government to support research and development for medicinal cannabis clinical trials is now being matched by support to underpin a NSW-based production and processing capability."
Over the past few years a special research centre at SCU has formed a strong partnership with the Australian-based company Ecofibre Industries.
Research has focused on regeneration and characterisation of a unique world genetic resource collection of cannabis that includes both industrial hemp and drug types.
SCU also benefits from the global links available through Ecofibre and the involvement of its plant scientists in the wider international research network focused on crop improvement.
Professor King is a renowned crop geneticist and has worked alongside plant breeders for more than 25 years and is able to transfer his extensive experience in using genetic analysis and DNA markers for improving crops such as canola, for the systematic improvement of hemp and medicinal cannabis.