Author: BioMedVic

Applications Open – Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research

The Victorian Government has opened applications for the 24th Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research.

Awarded annually to recognise the exceptional contributions made by early career health and medical researchers in their PhD studies, the Premier’s Awards will be expanded to include five category awards in 2018:

  • Basic Science Researcher
  • Clinical Researcher
  • Aboriginal Researcher undertaking research in any field of health and medical research
  • Health Services Researcher
  • Public Health Researcher

The category award recipients receive $5,000 each and the Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research Excellence recipient receives $15,000 ($20,000 in total). The awards will be announced at an awards ceremony proposed for the end of March 2018.

Applications close Monday 22 January 2018. Apply here

Department home ground for medical researcher

Joanne Enticott’s stint as a researcher in residence in the Department of Health and Human Services was so successful she was invited to speak at the Biomedical Research Victoria (BioMedVic) annual general meeting.

Accompanied by her supervisor, principal policy advisor Jennifer Pitcher, Dr Enticott discussed the benefits of her time in DHHS’ office of health and medical research.

The Researcher in Residence program is the initiative of BioMedVic, the state’s leading network linking medical research to clinical care through its member universities, academic hospitals, medical research institutes, CSIRO and other research organisations.

BioMedVic’s vision is for the Victorian health and medical research sector to be a global leader in innovation, to improve health and create wealth.

The goals of the program are to:

•       Provide an opportunity for a postgraduate biomedical research scientist to gain an understanding of political and parliamentary processes;

•       Enable governments to receive background information and advice on current issues in health and medical research;

•       Establish ongoing, two-way, links with the health and medical research community.

Dr Enticott, a translational clinical research design specialist and biostatistician, has particular interest in health services research and mental health.

She spent a day a week at DHHS from early July to late November while continuing her usual work in Monash University’s Department of Psychiatry, supported by Monash Health.

During her time at the department, Dr Enticott assisted with health services research policy work – mapping Victorian bio-medical precinct stakeholders and major collaborations within the precincts – and provided a researcher perspective on a range of initiatives.

DHHS accessed Dr Enticott’s expertise, fostering additional links with universities and gaining a greater understanding of the work of a biomedical research scientist.

Dr Enticott told the BioMedVic AGM she valued being immersed within a Victorian government department and experienced first-hand the development of policy.

She said she had already recommended the Researcher in Residence program to others.


This article was originally published by the Department of Health & Human Services on the Health Victoria website.

Image: Researcher in Residence Joanne Enticott (left) and her DHHS supervisor Jennifer Pitcher (right).

Image credit: Department of Health & Human Services


Victorian Cancer Agency 2018 Early Career Health Services Research Fellowships – EOI now open

The Victorian Cancer Agency has opened expressions of interest for the Victorian Cancer Agency Early Career Health Services Research Fellowships.

The intention of this scheme is to fund early career researchers within cancer health services with a focus on building capacity within cancer health services research, improving the delivery of care for patients, improving patient outcomes and improving patient experience. It is expected that applications will align to the Victorian cancer plan 2016-2020 and/or the Cancer Reform Framework.

The scheme is open to medical, nursing and allied health practitioners, health economists, behavioural scientists, statisticians, bioinformaticians, epidemiologists and other disciplines conducting health services research in cancer.

Applications close 31 January.

More information, including guidelines, funding rules and a link to the application forms can be found on the Victorian Cancer Agency website:

TRIP Fellowship Recipients announced

This month, the Minister for Health and Minister for Sport Greg Hunt announced the allocation of $3.94 million to the recipients of the Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) Fellowships, funded by the MRFF ($1.79 million) and NHMRC ($2.15 million).

Fellowship recipients will use the funds to work on a broad range of health issues, from suicide prevention to chronic kidney disease and to translate theory and laboratory work into improved health care practice and outcomes for patients.

Congratulations to BioMedVic Members Monash UniversityThe University of Melbourne and Deakin University for securing over $895,000 in this funding round.

Monash University

Chief Investigator: A/Prof Anita Wluka

Research Project: TreatOA4life (Treat OsteoArthritis4life) – a sustainable lifestyle treatment to improve outcomes in knee osteoarthritis ($179,118, NHMRC funded)

Chief Investigator: Dr Trisha Peel

Research Project: Optimising Patient Outcomes following Surgery: Improving Uptake of Evidence into Practice for Surgical Antimicrobial Prophylaxis ($179,118, NHMRC funded)

Chief Investigator: Dr Donna Urquhart

Research Project: Closing the evidence-practice gap with a highly innovative, patient-centred, decision-support program to guide narcotic use in chronic low back pain ($179,118, MRFF funded)

University of Melbourne

Chief Investigator: A/Prof Fiona Russell

Research Project: Implementing Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Pacific Island Countries ($179,118, NHMRC funded)

Deakin University

Chief Investigator: Dr Alison Beauchamp

Research Project: Closing the communication gap in chronic disease ($179,118, MRFF funded)

Guide to protecting your IP in China

This month, IP Australia released new resources for Australian businesses which outline the current IP situation in China.

The Guide to Protecting your IP in China provides an excellent front line resource for businesses. It contains the most important China IP messages in a single document, as well as links to further resources.

The Guide to searching the Chinese trade marks register aims to demystify the China trade mark registry. Bad faith trade mark filings continue to be a predominant IP issue facing Australian businesses and businesses are encouraged to register their trade marks in China as early as possible.

See the IP Australia China webpage for more information.

Inspiring Research Career Paths in Industry, Hospitals & Academia

Congratulations to our 2017 Round 2 cohort of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

BioMedVic warmly thank our colleagues who volunteered their time to participate on interviewing panels and commend every student who applied to this competitive employment scheme.

We continue to be delighted by the breadth of research organisations that chose to employ a talented undergraduate student through the UROP scheme. In this round, the UROP@BioMedVic office matched the best and brightest with industry, hospital, MRI and academic research teams – reflecting Victoria’s vibrant and diverse health and medical research community.

The students will carry out research projects for six to 18 months, for at least 8 hours a week, alongside their undergraduate coursework. We look forward to hearing about their progress at the UROP Conference Day next year.

We wish all UROPs the best of luck!

Read more about the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) here.

2017 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Awards celebrated

The unsung heroes of Australian medical research were celebrated this month at the 2017 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Awards & Networking Lunch held at the VCCC on 9 November.

While research-active health professionals – doctors, nurses and allied health workers – are needed to translate basic biomedical research to the frontline of clinical practice, they do face challenges. Heavy clinical workloads, lack of funding and a lack of institutional support for research activity combine to make engaging in research more and more difficult for hospital-based researchers.

In 2010, Biomedical Research Victoria established the Victorian Clinician Researcher Network (VCRN) to provide a voice for this group, and to advocate on their behalf and for change aimed at improving the capacity for clinicians to conduct research. To recognise and support some of those who have committed themselves to careers as clinician scientists, BioMedVic presents a series of annual awards.

One of the challenges facing clinician researchers is access to mentorship, which inspired the criteria for the BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Career Recognition Award. Nominations are not only assessed on the nominee’s track record in clinical studies but also on their achievement in mentoring other clinician researchers. This year, BioMedVic was pleased to honour and present this award to Prof Monica Slavin, an internationally recognised Infectious Diseases physician, specialising in the identification of risk factors and the early diagnosis and prevention of infection in cancer patients.

At the award presentation, her nominator, Prof Karin Thursky spoke about what inspired her to nominate Prof Slavin and A/Prof Leon Worth, one of Monica’s mentees, recalled how her mentorship shaped his career as a clinician researcher.

Thrilled to have had her career recognised with this Award, Prof Slavin inspired the audience with a sincere and entertaining presentation on the story of her career thus far and with her advice to upcoming clinician researchers.

Her words were especially well received by the four recipients of the BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Awards.

BioMedVic CEO Jan Tennent presented the winners and commendees in the Medical and Allied Health Categories with certificates and prizes, and spoke about the bright future facing these promising researchers. Networking continued over lunch, which was kindly sponsored by the National Centre for Infections in Cancer (NCIC).

BioMedVic warmly congratulates the 2017 winners of the BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Awards:

Dr Brett Manley | Royal Women’s Hospital – Winner Medical Category

Dr Catherine Granger | Royal Melbourne Hospital & University of Melbourne – Winner Allied Health Category

Dr Kiryu Yap | St Vincent’s Institute & St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne – Commendation Medical Category

Dr Bao Nguyen | University of Melbourne – Commendation Allied Health Category

Read about the outstanding work of these Victorian clinician scientists here.

We look forward to celebrating many more such achievements in future years.

2017 Australian Academy of Science honorific Awards

The Australian Academy of Science recognised the outstanding contribution to science that 18 of Australia’s leading scientists have made.

BioMedVic warmly congratulates researchers from Members Monash University (Professor Douglas MacFarlane FAA FTSE, Associate Professor Alex Fornito, Dr Paul Lasky), RMIT University (Professor Calum John Drummond) and the University of Melbourne (Professor Geoffrey Burnstock FAA FRS) for their achievements. Read more

2017 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Career Recognition Award – Prof Monica Slavin

Awarded to Professor Monica Slavin

Centre and Innovations Lead, National Centre for Infections in Cancer (NCIC), Immunocompromised Host Infection Service, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Department of Infectious Diseases, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre & Royal Melbourne Hospital

BioMedVic warmly congratulates the recipient of the 2017 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Career Recognition Award – Prof Monica Slavin.

Professor Monica Slavin is an Infectious Diseases physician, internationally recognised for identifying risk factors and improving early diagnosis and prevention of infection in cancer patients.

She has published over 180 peer reviewed publications and has been cited over 5,200 times. Her research has resulted in new management guidelines, definitions of fungal infections for clinical trials and translations of new diagnostic tests into practice.

Prof Slavin is now the director of the National Centre for Infections in Cancer (NCIC), a platform which addresses the critical need for informed strategies to reduce infections in cancer.

Her nominator, Prof Karin Thursky, named Prof Slavin a “humble, kind, and consistent mentor” and an outstanding example to women and clinicians in science through her leadership and hard work.

The Award was presented by BioMedVic CEO Prof Jan Tennent during the 2017 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Awards & Networking Lunch.


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.