Author: MZ

New Frontier for Parkinson’s

UROP @ The Bionics Institute | Aharon Golod

“Not very often do you wake up, knowing you have to go to work and feel excited,” said Aharon Golod. Every day the budding researcher gets to work with cutting-edge technology at the Bionics Institute as part of his UROP placement.

This technology, called deep brain stimulation, while being developed specifically for people with drug-resistant symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, has the potential to treat other neurological disorders, like clinical depression and Tourette’s syndrome. Continue reading

Healing Wounds for Diabetic Patients

UROP @ ARMI | Natasha Qazi

Apple with a bandaid
Wounded Apple

Having an open wound which doesn’t heal for years is the reality for many people, often diabetics, living with chronic ulcers and slow-healing wounds. Patients need treatment over several years, which makes it extremely expensive, both for the healthcare system and the patients who are continually going in and out of hospital.

Twelve Australians develop diabetes every hour. While the annual healthcare cost for a diabetic person without associated complications can be up to $4,000, complications, such as slow-healing wounds, can increase the cost to $16,000. Continue reading

Chair’s Report

“Whichever way you look at it, there is no doubt of the value of our role as the premier voice linking health and medical research to clinical outcomes. It’s through our efforts that all Victorians can be confident they are getting the very best value for monies invested in healthcare and in research.

BioMedVic fosters collaboration and creates the synergies needed to deliver real health outcomes for the people of this State.”

– Mrs Jane Bell

Many of you will know that I joined the Board of BioMedVic a year ago. I have been or continue to be a Board member of six other health and medical research organisations which reflects my genuine interest and passion for the work that people like you do.

Of late, this interest has become deeply personal for me, with both of my parents facing major health challenges.

So, I’ve been reminded of the quality of Victoria’s clinicians and the first-class research and technology that enables them to deliver heath care that is second to none in the world. In pondering this though, I can’t help but wonder if we’re perhaps not all just a little guilty of forgetting how terrific things are in Victoria – or possibly of taking it for granted.

Of course, that’s a perfect segue to reflect on the rationale for having an organisation like Biomedical Research Victoria.

Whichever way you look at it, there is no doubt of the value of our role as the premier voice linking health and medical research to clinical outcomes. It’s through our efforts that all Victorians can be confident they are getting the very best value for monies invested in healthcare and in research.

BioMedVic fosters collaboration and creates the synergies needed to deliver real health outcomes for the people of this State.

Our efforts drive early alignment between research and the clinic to give a clear line of sight between research and new knowledge and treatments that lead to better patient care and life-changing outcomes.

But the world in which BioMedVic and its member organisations operate is under pressure. Constrained funding for health and medical research is driving increased competition between organisations.

Sadly, something of a gold rush mentality has emerged with organisational effort being increasingly distracted by the hunt for funding. Everyone’s looking to be the best friend of government and to make the best deal for their organisation, if only in the shorter term and running the risk of piecemeal investments creating piecemeal solutions.

What all this highlights is that BioMedVic is needed now more than ever. By our very nature we are doing what others can’t do.

We’re providing a genuine link between researchers, clinicians, patient care, hospitals, universities, medical research institutes, CSIRO and others. We are unifying disparate voices to achieve the very best link between research and clinical care. We’re taking a whole of sector perspective to ensure its viability well into the future and working to maintain Victoria as the leading State for health and medical research and clinical care not only for Australia, but also the world.

We are the premier voice linking health and medical research to clinical care in this State.

Through all of us, Victorians get the best value for money for their investment in their own health.

Biomedical Research Victoria has a very real and needed purpose. What we do now, can and will shape Victoria’s medical research and clinical care landscape for future generations.

We need – Victorians need – your ongoing and unwavering support to make that happen.

Mrs Jane Bell

CEO’s Report

“2016/2017 has been a significant year for Biomedical Research Victoria and we can rightly be proud of what we have achieved. It is important that we remind ourselves of the key role BioMedVic plays as the premier voice for linking health and medical research to clinical care in Victoria. Our reach is significant and should not be underestimated.

BioMedVic embraces more than three quarters of Victoria’s 25,000 biomedical scientists and clinicians across universities, academic hospitals, medical research institutes, CSIRO and other organisations.”

– Prof Jan Tennent
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Zoonoses – a deadly but fascinating link between animal health and public health 

MEMBER FEATURE

AAHL (operating since 1985 as the Australian Animal Health Laboratory)

Zoonotic diseases are any disease or infection that originates in animals and is naturally spread to humans. It is estimated that approximately 75% of new disease outbreaks affecting humans in the past decade have been caused by zoonoses. These emerging diseases pose a serious risk both to public health and the economy and look likely to continue increasing. Examples include the bat-borne viruses: SARS, MERS, Ebola virus, Hendra and Nipah viruses; and other zoonosis including Avian Influenza, Dengue and Zika viruses.

AAHL (operating since 1985 as the Australian Animal Health Laboratory) is Australia’s national biocontainment facility, owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the nation. The biocontainment infrastructure and scientific expertise enables AAHL to deliver a vital service to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as Australia’s Reference Laboratory for emergency animal diseases and high consequence pathogens of animal origin.

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Researchers Now in Residence

BioMedVic is excited to announce that we have three new placements, Dr Michelle Hall (The University of Melbourne), Dr Joanne Enticott (Monash University/Monash Health) and Dr Despina Ganella (The Florey), to participate in BioMedVic’s flagship Policy Skills development program, ‘Researcher In Residence’ (RiR).

The RiR program provides an opportunity for researchers from BioMedVic member organisations to be placed part-time in the Victorian office of state and federal parliamentarians and government departments.

Group

• Dr Michelle Hall, from the Centre of Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, Department of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, has been in Canberra for the past two weeks with Senator Kim Carr, Senator for Victoria in the Australian Parliament, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research;
• Dr Joanne Enticott, from Southern Synergy, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences Monash Health and Monash University, has taken up her placement in the Office of Health and Medical Research within the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services; and
• Dr Despina Ganella, from The Florey will take up her placement with Adam Bandt MP, Member for Melbourne, Victoria in the Australian Parliament.
BioMedVic CEO, Prof Jan Tennent said, “the RiR program is a 2-way opportunity – for researchers its a chance to understand how policies and priorities are determined within the parliamentary process, while for parliamentarians its an opportunity to engage with research experts on key issues of the day. It’s about both sides of the conversation being better informed and starting to speak the same language.” BioMedVic is proud to be advancing its advocacy on behalf of members through the RiR program

 

‘Researcher in Residence’ Opportunity

BioMedVic recently launched the 2017 round of its ‘Researcher in Residence’ Scheme

A short-term ‘Researcher in Residence’ opportunity will be provided for up to five (5) early career researchers from Biomedical Research Victoria Member organisations to be placed part-time in the Victorian office of a range of state and federal parliamentarians and government agencies.

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2016 ECCR Award winners and commendees

Congratulations to the VCRN 2016 Early Career Clinician Researcher (ECCR) Award winners and commendees!

Kathleen Philip, Chief Allied Health Advisor of Victoria, presented this year’s Awards at the 2016 VCRN Awards & Networking Event at the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Thursday 8 December.

Winner ($1,000 Prize) – Medical Category

Dr Simon Joosten | Monash Health, Monash University

Dr Joosten is a respiratory and sleep medicine specialist based at Monash Health and an early career research fellow at Monash University, School of Clinical Sciences. He is an outstanding clinician scientist and committed to a translational program set to change the treatment approach for over a million Australians who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea. Dr Joosten will use the Award to support his travel to the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Washington, DC in May 2017 where he has been invited to present a lecture on the role of body position in obstructive sleep apnoea.

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Winner ($1,000 Prize) – Allied Health Category

Dr Jeanette Tamplin | Austin Health, University of Melbourne

Dr Tamplin is a music therapist based at Austin Health and a research fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has studied the effects of therapeutic singing intervention on respiratory function and voice for people with quadriplegia, as well as for improving speech in Parkinson’s or stroke patients. This year, she started on a NHMRC-ARC funded Dementia Research Fellowship to explore the benefits of therapeutic choir participation for early-mid stage dementia patients. Dr Tamplin is committed to translating her research outcomes into clinical practice and to educate the public on the benefits of music participation. She plans to use the Award to travel to the 2017 World Congress of Music Therapy in Japan to present her work.

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Commendation ($500 Prize) – Medical Category

Dr Yet Hong Khor | Austin Health, University of Melbourne

Dr Khor is a respiratory and sleep physician based at the Institute for Breathing and Sleep at Austin Health and is in the second year of her PhD at the University of Melbourne. She is an outstanding physician and promising clinician scientist, studying the role of supplemental oxygen therapy for patients with interstitial lung disease to improve the disease’s understanding and management. Dr Khor is dedicated to continue working as a clinician researcher and will use the Award to support her travel to the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Washington, DC in May 2017 where she will present the findings of her study.

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Commendation ($500 Prize) – Allied Health Category

Dr Alice Burnett | Royal Children’s Hospital, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Dr Burnett is a neuropsychologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital Neonatal Medicine Department and a postdoctoral fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. As an emerging leader in the newborn medicine research, both Dr Burnett’s clinical and research roles have a common goal – to support the health development of children born with medical challenges. Dr Burnett studies how cognitive and behavioural difficulties present and relate to brain development in children born prematurely and is working to identify early-life predictors that can help clinicians monitor and support development. Dr Burnett will use the Award to travel to the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Conference in San Francisco to present her work.

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