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)

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

Zoonoses – a deadly but fascinating link between animal health and public health 


AAHL (operating since 1985 as the Australian Animal Health Laboratory)

Zoonotic diseases are any disease or infection that originates in animals and is naturally spread to humans. It is estimated that approximately 75% of new disease outbreaks affecting humans in the past decade have been caused by zoonoses. These emerging diseases pose a serious risk both to public health and the economy and look likely to continue increasing. Examples include the bat-borne viruses: SARS, MERS, Ebola virus, Hendra and Nipah viruses; and other zoonosis including Avian Influenza, Dengue and Zika viruses.

AAHL (operating since 1985 as the Australian Animal Health Laboratory) is Australia’s national biocontainment facility, owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the nation. The biocontainment infrastructure and scientific expertise enables AAHL to deliver a vital service to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as Australia’s Reference Laboratory for emergency animal diseases and high consequence pathogens of animal origin.

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Trial to Image “Hearing Brain” of Children Set to Begin



Deaf children may soon hear more clearly, thanks to a Melbourne trial starting in March.

Using a non-invasive technique, Professor Colette McKay and her team at Melbourne’s Bionics Institute will image the “hearing brain” of children – data which could help clinicians tune hearing devices for infants and newborns for a sense of hearing much closer to the real thing. Continue reading

Scientists go with their gut



Tiny 3D organs could help doctors tackle colorectal cancer more effectively than ever before. A biobank of “mini-gut” organoids, grown at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), is set to help scientists understand the evolution of cancer growth, test new drugs and, eventually, take the guesswork out of treating cancer.
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Printing the Human Body



Imagine replacing an amputated arm with a perfect replica, or swapping a diseased kidney with a freshly printed, healthy organ.

It may sound like sci-fi, but at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne a group of biologists, material scientists, biomedical engineers and robotic experts are coming together to make that happen. The Advanced Biofabrication Centre, launched in October, is set to take bionic research and regenerative medicine to the next level. Continue reading

How to Split the Pie

coinsBring industry expertise to academia – this was the message I brought to Ian Frazer when he was in Melbourne recently with other members of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board for a public consultation on the MRFF.

I recommended a portion of the Fund would be well spent on initiatives to embed colleagues with experience and a successful track record gained in industry into research. This suggestion was made rather than, or at least in addition to, the reverse – a call for increasing numbers of researchers to spend time in industry learning the ropes of commercialisation, which while admirable may take some considerable time to yield the results we hope for. The proposal was not surprising given my own experience and that of several BioMedVic Directors who can all attest to the two-way impact of building bridges between industry and academia, something BioMedVic has encouraged for some time. Continue reading

Research at the Heart of Health



The Royal Women’s Hospital does more than support the health of Melbourne locals – it is a hub of active research aimed at improving health outcomes for women and children in Victoria and globally.

Over 3,000 patients are currently participating in 62 clinical trials throughout the hospital’s services in nine research centres. The hospital’s recently released 2015 Research Report “Discoveries improving care for women and babies” showcases this research leadership. The Report includes details of the hospital’s clinical trials and translational research in newborn and cancer research, as well as in gynaecology, pregnancy, mental health, infectious diseases, midwifery and maternity, anaesthetics and allied health. Continue reading

Science, As You’ve Never Seen It



If you took a walk through the Fed Square Atrium recently, you were probably unaware you’d stumbled across cutting edge research.

That’s because WEHI researchers presenting at the annual “Art of Science” Exhibition, held from August 12-21, displayed snapshots of their science as not bar graphs and plots. Instead, they showcased a connoisseur’s selection of artistic imagery that could have adorned the walls of art galleries – the intricate structures of biology at molecular scale.
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Victorian biomedical research…on a roll

  • Welcome to 7 new Members: Alfred Health, Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute, Burnet Institute, Deakin University, Monash University, Monash Health and Western Health
  • 2014 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science
  • Victorian Government announcement: Melbourne to be headquarters for Australia’s largest-ever life sciences venture capital fund

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