Tag: health and medical research

Message from the CEO

“Oh the things you can find, if you don’t stay behind.”

This quote from Dr. Seuss speaks to leadership, progression and discovery – qualities that characterise Victoria’s health and medical research sector and will see it clear to become a global leader in innovation, to improve health and create wealth.

BioMedVic is the premier voice for linking medical research to clinical care in Victoria and as we wind down for the year, we reflect on much to be proud of.

We saw our advocacy platform bear fruit. BioMedVic assisted the Victorian Government to deliver almost $4 million of initiatives that support the state’s Victoria’s Health and Medical Research Strategy 2016-2020: the prestigious and valuable Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowships and the transformative Medical Research Acceleration Fund awards. These initiatives responded to recommendations submitted by BioMedVic in response to Victorian Government discussion papers in 2015, and we are proud to see the collective vision of our Members reflected.

BioMedVic represents over 18,000 of Victoria’s 25,000-strong community of scientists and clinicians working in our member network of universities, academic hospitals, medical research institutes and CSIRO.

In 2017, BioMedVic’s Chair, George Morstyn, and I represented the diverse interests of these people and organisations in briefings to state and federal Ministers, ministerial advisors and senior leaders in key government departments.

BioMedVic’s opinion leader forums, the Scientific Advisory Council and the Hospital Research Directors Forum, exchanged knowledge and sector intelligence, and provided input into key Victorian Government committees, including the Science, Medical Research and Technology (SMaRT) Panel, the Digital Health Strategic Advisory Committee and the Ministerial Advisory Council addressing the Victorian health system design, service and infrastructure plan.

Also in 2017, we stimulated the research careers of 39 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) scholars in partnership with CSL, the program’s Principal Sponsor, bringing the grand total of jobs facilitated through UROP to 649!

Collaboration is in Melbourne’s DNA.

This year, BioMedVic made sure this message was heard loud, clear and globally through the launch of the online research network map that showed Melbourne’s output and collaboration in high quality research in partnership with Nature Index.

We are proud of our 16-year history of facilitating collaboration in Victoria’s health and medical research sector, ensuring our sector shines to its full potential. I am confident BioMedVic’s work will continue to drive stronger research, employment, investment and growth for the future.

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

Jan Tennent

Spotlight on Melbourne’s life science collaboration

As we reflect on the year that was, BioMedVic warmly invites you to explore the key connections that are at the heart of Melbourne’s reputation as a City of Science and Innovation. We are excited to announce a new spotlight on life science research!

BioMedVic’s partner, Springer Nature, recently updated the Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map, by adding subject filters for life science, earth and environmental science, chemistry and physical science.

What exactly is the Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map?

The Nature Index Melbourne Collaboration Map is an online, interactive, updateable research network map which is powered by the Nature Index and sponsored by BioMedVic. It shows output and collaboration in high quality research between institutions in the greater Melbourne region.

The Nature Index tracks high-quality research and collaborations by measuring the contribution of institutions to a set of high-quality journals in the natural sciences. An institution’s contribution to these journals is its fractional count (FC), while article count (AC) is the number of an institution’s journal articles that appear in the Nature Index. Institutions are represented in their locations by circles on the map, with the size and colour of the circle representative of the institution’s FC.

When evaluating the collaborative effort between two institutions, a bilateral collaboration score (CS) is derived. This is sum of the FCs from articles with authors from both institutions. Local bilateral collaborations between institutions within the greater city area are represented by the lines on the map with the line thickness and colour representative of the strength of the collaboration, while the top international bilateral collaborations are listed in the popup box for each institution. The collaborations of child institutions that are part of a larger institution are shown as dashed lines. In most instances, only the primary location of an institution is mapped.

Not your average map

Confused at first glance? Below is a quick guide to help you find your way around the information presented on the Melbourne Collaboration Map.

All in the numbers

The Melbourne Collaboration Map puts publication data tracked by the Nature Index right at your fingertips. Here is what you can learn about your organisation:

Time to see how your organisation tracks! Explore the Melbourne Collaboration Map here.

Discount for Members

BioMedVic Members are reminded that they are entitled to a 10 per cent discount on job ads in Naturejobs including the job feed on the map. To list a job post, please contact Lisa Truong (lisa.truong@nature.com).

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: http://www.victoriancanceragency.org.au/index.php/2018funding-round

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
Continue reading

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