Tag: health and medical research

2017 BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Awards

Congratulations to the 2017 BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher (ECCR) Award winners and commendees!

Prof Jan Tennent, CEO of BioMedVic, presented this year’s Awards at the 2017 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Awards & Networking Lunch on 9 November at the VCCC.

Winner ($1,000 Prize) – Medical Category

Dr Brett Manley | Royal Women’s Hospital

Dr Brett Manley is a neonatologist and early career researcher at the Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne. His research aims to improve outcomes for preterm infants by improving the application of early breathing supports and improving longer-term respiratory health by preventing bronchopulmonary dysplasia – the chronic lung disease of prematurity. Since his PhD, Dr Manley has led two multicentre, randomised clinical trials of the non-invasive “nasal high-flow” respiratory support system. His award will contribute to his travel to an international neonatal conference to present the results of his HUNTER trial.

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

Dr Catherine Granger | Royal Melbourne Hospital & University of Melbourne

Dr Catherine Granger is a research physiotherapist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on the role of physical activity and exercise for people with cancer. One of Dr Granger’s current studies is testing the benefit of an exercise and education program to improve function and quality of life for people undergoing lung cancer surgery at Melbourne Health. Her award will contribute to her travel to the European Respiratory Society Conference in Paris in 2018.

Commendation ($500 Prize) – Medical Category

Dr Kiryu Yap | St Vincent’s Institute & St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Dr Kiryu Yap is a medical doctor and regenerative therapy researcher at St Vincent’s Institute and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. During his PhD, Dr Yap aims to bio-engineer human liver organ-like structures using cells isolated from adult human tissue and induced pluripotent stem cells, and test their therapeutic potential for liver disease. His award will contribute to his travel to the International Liver Congress in France in April 2018.

Commendation ($500 Prize) – Allied Health Category

Dr Bao Nguyen | University of Melbourne

Dr Bao Nguyen is an optometrist and early career researcher at the University of Melbourne. She uses non-invasive methods, including clinical electrophysiology, neuroimaging and perceptual tests, to investigate neuronal changes in the human visual system. Dr Nguyen’s research aims to study healthy ageing and childhood development, and improve outcomes for patients with neurological disorders such as migraine, and ocular diseases such as glaucoma. Her award will contribute to her travel to the Experimental Psychology Conference in 2018.

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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BioMedVic Advocacy Hits the Ground Running in 2017


As for many Australian organisations, December-January was a quieter period for BioMedVic. But our advocacy on behalf of Members continues.

Victorian Parliament resumed last week and most of our Members are ‘back in town’. Amanda Caples and I are in the diary to catch up about what’s happening in DEDJTR and at BioMedVic, to hear what her plans are as Lead Scientist for the state and in which areas BioMedVic may be of assistance. Among the topics I will raise when I meet with Linda Christine, Director Innovation, Industry and International Health in DHHS, is the future of the Operational Infrastructure Support Program that provides funding for indirect research costs to eligible independent medical research institutes in Victoria. Continue reading

New Fellowships a Boon for Victorian Researchers – and Patients

The year has kicked off with the launch of an exciting program aimed at developing the next generation of Victorian researchers, translating research to the clinic and boosting the state’s economy.

As the state’s leading network of health and medical research organisations, BioMedVic is delighted to be working with the Victorian Government to roll out the inaugural round of the Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowships.
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It’s Our Time to Shine

biomed_research_vic_5069It’s time to celebrate – Victoria holds rank as Australia’s capital of health and biomedical research. But how will the sector evolve in 2017?

We recently learned that Victorian health and medical researchers, a majority from BioMedVic member organisations, secured over 40% of the NHMRC funding pie – and we celebrate this wonderful news wholeheartedly. Part of our success can be attributed to our well-established ability to work collaboratively in Victoria. One exemplar of this claim was the recent recognition of a longstanding collaboration between Jim McCluskey from the University of Melbourne and Jamie Rossjohn from Monash University. An international recognition was the Nature Index ranking Melbourne as one of the 10 centres around the world with the most intra-city research partnerships in 2015.

But we mustn’t rest on our laurels.

While it’s no secret that Melbourne thrives on collaborations and is inspired by innovation, we need to share not only our research infrastructure and skills, but our voice – particularly to government. A collaborative culture is needed to tackle the big challenges head-on, and to ensure our sector shines brightly and to its full potential. Because while we hear of grand political gestures, we need our combined expertise to come together to future-proof these plans.

BioMedVic has strong ties with the State Government which we use to advocate on behalf of our Members. We offer leadership in the sector and a robust connection to government decision-makers which withstands the pressures of short-term political cycles.

I want to remind Members that a collective voice is more powerful than that of any single member. This year, we saw just how powerful this voice can be.

In the run-up to the last state election, we met with policy makers from both parties, advocating for a long-term, well-coordinated Victorian innovation plan and suggested methods for establishing state-wide priorities and governance arrangements.

This year, we saw our advocacy platforms paying off with BioMedVic’s vision that Victoria become a global leader in health and medical innovation featuring in the Victorian Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020. This strategy responded to many of the recommendations submitted by BioMedVic, and we are proud to see a collective vision of our Members reflected.

Like the Western Bulldogs, BioMedVic is going for back-to-back performance in 2017.

I sincerely thank you for your support this year and wish you all the best for the festive season, and hope that you return refreshed and inspired for the New Year.

 Jan Tennent

The bottom line that’s top of mind …

Determining how and on what the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will be spent is the sort of thing we all dream of as scientists. What would we do with that sort of money, which areas of medical research need it, where could the most benefit be gained? Can you imagine the pressure members of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board must be feeling?

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Touching base with our Researcher in Residence: Life inside #Spring St

Monash University’s Dr Kelly-Ann Bowles is half way through her internship with the Shadow Minister for Health in the Victorian Parliament, Mary Wooldridge. According to Dr Bowles, her participation in Ms Wooldridge’s electorate and parliament offices has been incredibly exciting since she started at the beginning of May.

“This has been an amazing opportunity.  It is sometimes the more informal chats over lunch, discussing the similarities between political life and research life, that have added to the experience. A number of Mary’s staff have been with her for years and their experience and passion is amazing.” – Dr Kelly Bowles  
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