Category: News

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.

Prof Jan Tennent elected to AusBiotech Board

BioMedVic CEO Jan Tennent will have further opportunity to link Victoria’s health and medical research and clinical care with industry after being elected today to the AusBiotech Board of Directors.

The election outcome was announced at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of AusBiotech Ltd, held at the AusBiotech national conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 25 October 2017.

BioMedVic CEO Jan Tennent will have further opportunity to link Victoria’s health and medical research and clinical care with industry after being elected today to the AusBiotech Board of Directors.

The election outcome was announced at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of AusBiotech Ltd, held at the AusBiotech national conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 25 October 2017.

Jan Tennent is a respected senior executive and networked business leader with international and national experience in the pharmaceutical, biologicals, agribiotech and research sectors. She has a proven record of contribution and accomplishment in the governance and management of NFP organisations and highly matrixed organisations including CSIRO, CSL and Pfizer. Renowned for her trustworthiness and diligence, Jan brings innovation, expertise and focus to her roles.

In her previous role as Director for Business Development & Global Alliances at Pfizer Animal Health, Jan was responsible for maximising the growth and profitability of APAC business units and leading the due diligence and negotiation teams for a number of company and product acquisitions and numerous technology licenses and collaborative R&D agreements.

As a member of the CSL Animal Health executive team Jan was responsible for new product opportunity evaluation and leadership of product development and the launch teams for unique vaccines in Australia and the UK.

Jan brings expertise in forging and nurturing relationships and a persuasive advocacy style to her current role as CEO of Biomedical Research Victoria, the premier voice for linking health and medical research to clinical care in Victoria.

Jan’s research career included periods as Director of the CRC for Vaccine Technology and Program Manager for the Vaccines and Immunology group of CSIRO Animal Health. In these roles, Jan honed her innovation and management skills having oversight of the research and vaccine clinical trial activities of a 20-strong team.

An alumnus of Monash and Deakin universities, Jan was appointed in 2017 as Collaborative Professor at the University of Osaka.  She is a Principal Fellow at The University of Melbourne, Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jan said: “I’m looking forward to leveraging my experience in the pharma, bio, agricultural and animal industries as well as research to contribute and add value to the terrific work that AusBiotech is already doing on behalf of its members.”

Recipients of the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund announced

The Minister of Health Jill Hennessy today announced the recipients of the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund, which was designed to invest in new projects that translate early stage medical research into patient care.

The fund is part of the plan Healthier Lives, Stronger Economy: Victoria’s Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020, which aims to create new business opportunities, job and economic growth and enhance Victoria’s reputation as a world leader in health and medical research.

Congratulations to BioMedVic Members Monash UniversityDeakin UniversityThe University of Melbourne and Austin Health for securing over $1.2 million in this inaugural funding round.

The University of Melbourne was awarded funding to develop new technology to treat severe asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases ($201,236).

Monash University received funding to develop a common data model to improve the lives of people living with dementia ($100,000), to develop a new method for diagnosing bipolar disorder ($100,000), to develop a new support package for stroke survivors ($99,356) and to develop an integrated “Virtual Hospital” patient management system to improve the care of patients with chronic diseases ($500,000).

Deakin University secured funding to develop a blended face-to-face and mobile application psychosocial intervention for bipolar disease ($99,872).

Austin Health were awarded funding to improve diagnosis of rare genetic disorders ($100,000).

Together, the awarded projects leverage further funding from philanthropic, industry and international sources which will bring an additional $7 million investment into Victoria’s world-class medical research sector.

Read further project details in the Victorian Government press release.

Victoria Public Healthcare Awards and Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation announced

Victoria’s public health services and innovation in health and medical research were celebrated this month with the announcement of the recipients of the Victoria Public Healthcare Awards, the Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation and the Victoria Fellowships.

We sincerely congratulate all the winners from BioMedVic Member organisations and others on their contribution to Victoria’s world-class health and medical research.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy and Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley presented the 2017 Victorian Public Healthcare Awards, which celebrate excellence, dedication and innovation in public healthcare, at a gala ceremony on 26 October. (See the full list of winners and finalists here.)

Congratulations to Eastern Health, winner of the Minister for Mental Health’s Award for their work in bringing tele-psychiatry to an emergency department, and to The Royal Children’s Hospital, winner of the Secretary’s Award for their integration of care for patients with chronic and complex conditions.

We also congratulate the winners and finalists of the Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation and the recipients of the Victoria Fellowship, which were announced at an awards ceremony held by veski at Melbourne’s Investment Centre on 26 October.

Six early career researchers, five of which are from BioMedVic Member organisations, were awarded the Victoria Fellowships in Life Sciences, valued at up to $18,000 each to assist them with an international study mission. Congratulations to Dr Kim Allison and Ms Jane Hawkey from the University of Melbourne and Dr Jennifer Payne, Ms Samantha Rowbotham and Dr Philip Ward from Monash University.

“We’re supporting our innovators because they help our economy – their discoveries and new ideas will create the jobs and industries of the future,” said Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis.