A New Era

On the 17th March 2014, Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips launched Biomedical Research Victoria (BioMedVic) at an afternoon reception attended by Members and other key leaders from the sector.

The Minister said “Biomedical Research Victoria will create an…approach that is international in focus, more collaborative and efficient…will improve linkages within Victoria’s world class R&D base (and) provide an excellent opportunity to further capitalise on Victoria’s competitive advantage in biomedical research, further lifting the state’s reputation as a leading global research hub.”

Read the Press Release

L-R: Assoc Prof Jan Tennent, CEO of BioMedVic, Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips and Prof Ian Gust, Chairman of BioMedVic

VPTN Showcase

With comments like “That talk was great” and “Our Board members need to hear this”, we were confident that VPTN’s inaugural Facilities Showcase was hitting the mark.

The event, themed Discover. Connect. Grow was the first event of its kind, and with feedback like “absolutely brilliant!” and “networking was excellent”, the showcase provided a great opportunity for facilities and researchers from universities, medical research institutes and industry to connect.

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Gender Equity in Scientific Research

The Bio21 Cluster is pleased to be a partner in the ARC Linkage Grant “Women in the Scientific Research Workforce: Identifying and Sustaining the Diversity Advantage”, led by Professors Sharon Bell and Lyn Yates.

The goal of the study is to provide greater understanding of the careers of women and men in the scientific research workforce and to inform workforce planning and policy making in the science and innovation sector.  While previous investigations have focussed principally on universities, this study also involves researchers from research institutes, CSIRO and industry.

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Cluster moves to a state-wide role

Since the last newsletter, there has been significant progress toward the Bio21 Cluster expanding its membership to embrace the wider Victorian biomedical research community.  Enthusiasm for the concept was evident during the extensive consultation with both the Founding and General Members, as well as with prospective members, representatives of government and other stakeholders.

After due consideration, the Founding Members approved a series of constitutional amendments which were unanimously supported by the Cluster’s General Members at the Annual General Meeting on October 4, 2013.

To differentiate itself from the Bio21 Institute, the Cluster will take on a new name, Biomedical Research Victoria (BioMedVic), in early 2014 under a Board that will be modified to reflect the broader membership base.

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UROP Conference Day 2013

The annual UROP Conference travelled to Monash University this year, taking place in the School of Biomedical Sciences on Wednesday 10 July.  More than 100 attendees saw presentations throughout the day from 27 current and former UROP students.

We were delighted to welcome the Minister for Technology, The Hon. Gordon Rich-Phillips, to formally open the proceedings.

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VCRN Forum: Help for the Desperate – Statistics for Clinical Researchers!

Understanding biostatistics was certainly a topic that resonated with clinician researchers, with the latest forum attracting a large crowd of over 120 to St Vincent’s Hospital on 7 November.

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Mind Readers – Biological Markers for Mental Health

With mental health set to have the greatest impact on disease burden in coming decades, the Cluster selected the topic of the potential of biological markers in mental health for its second symposium for 2013.

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Congratulations to the WEHI UROP Scholarship recipients

Congratulations to the two UROP students to receive the inaugural Walter and Eliza Hall Institute UROP Scholarships.

The awards were presented to Damian Pavlyshyn, a science student studying maths who has been working with Audrey Kan and Phil Hodgkin in the Immunology Division, and Simone Park, who is also completing a science degree and has been working with Leigh Coultas in the Development and Cancer division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Awarded on the basis of academic merit, these scholarships help to subsidise the recipient’s stipends. The scholarships were made possible by a generous donation to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Stipend Supported UROP Student develops a thirst for Research

Lucy Hersey, a third year Science student at Monash University, has found her UROP placement with the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) invaluable.

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