Welcome to the May newsletter. In this edition:
- A message from our President
- Policy project update
- Life as a Clinician-Scientist – Allied Health
- Annual meeting – save the date
- Sector news and opportunities
- Staying in touch
A message from our President
Dear friends and colleagues,
Ahead of this weekend’s Federal Election, I am again strongly reminded of the importance of the Academy’s role in providing an independent voice on health and medical science in Australia. Our Fellows provide invaluable expertise that enables the Academy to provide evidence-based advice to government on health, medicine, research and innovation. We look forward to working with the next government to continue this important work.
In that spirit, one of the key messages of our pre-election statement was the opportunity to harness research for improving health by better embedding research in the health system. This is the subject of a major Academy policy project, to which many of our Fellows have generously contributed expertise and experience. The working group is currently delineating their vision for what a research-rich health system might look like and drafting recommendations.
This work builds on past contributions, including the McKeon Review of Health and Medical Research – nine years on from which there is still much to be done. Harnessing research for better health: A vision for integrating research into healthcare will explore the value of research in health and the roles that key stakeholders can play. The report is expected to be published in the coming months – read the latest update for this project.
On a related topic, I was delighted that last week the Academy hosted our second ever Life as a Clinician-Scientist symposium for allied health professionals. When I began these symposia in 2016, it was my vision to showcase the careers of all clinician-scientists, across all health professions. More than 400 people registered for last week’s event to learn how to create a research-supportive workplace. The strong interest from the allied health sector indicates there are many clinicians and early career researchers keen to pursue pathways to this exciting and rewarding career. We look forward to hosting more in-person and online Life as a Clinician-Scientist events throughout the year. My warmest thanks to Professor Kathryn Refshauge FAHMS and the steering committee for delivering such a fantastic event. Watch a recording online.
Finally, I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Fellows Professor Carola Vinuesa FRS FAA FAHMS and Professor Jamie Rossjohn FRS FAA FAHMS on their recent election to the Royal Society in recognition of their outstanding contributions to science. Professor Vinuesa has been recognised for her work on T-cells, antibody responses, and whole genome sequencing, while Professor Rossjohn is recognised for his contribution to the understanding of the molecular basis underpinning infectious disease and vertebrate host response. It highlights the strength of Australian research and innovation when our researchers are recognised at the highest level internationally, and I am sure you will all join me in congratulating Professors Vinuesa and Rossjohn on this major achievement.
Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO FRS FAA PresAHMS
Presentation of Outstanding Female Researcher Medal
Professor Georgina Long AO FAHMS, the 2021 recipient of the Outstanding Female Researcher Medal, will receive her medal at 12pm this Friday 20 May in Sydney.The Academy honoured Professor Long last year for her transformative work advancing melanoma treatments and improving patient outcomes. Due to COVID restrictions at the time, she was unable to receive her award in person. Professor Long will deliver a presentation as part of the NeuRA seminar series before Professor Simon Gandevia FAHMS presents the medal. Join the webinar livestream at 12pm Friday 20 May.
Save the date – AAHMS annual meeting
The Academy’s annual meeting will be held in Melbourne on 13-14 October, including the Gala Dinner on the evening of the 13th and a Mentorship Workshop scheduled for 12 October. This is the first time in three years that the annual meeting will be held in person—we encourage you to save the date ahead of the release of program details.
Sector news and opportunities
Experts wanted for antimicrobial resistance survey
Are you an expert in antimicrobial resistance (AMR)? The Academy is collaborating with Australian Academy of Technology & Engineering, along with CSIRO, to seek expert opinions on Australia’s readiness to implement solutions to mitigate and manage the impacts of AMR. Complete the survey by 25 May to share your expert opinion.
Virchow Prize for Global Health
Nominations for the inaugural Virchow Prize for Global Health are now open. The prize recognises innovations of outstanding significance and lifetime achievements with a positive and sustainable impact on global health. Laureates will be awarded an endowment of €500,000 for their longstanding commitment and contributions towards improving health and well-being for all. Nominations close 30 June. Find out more about the prize and nomination process.
ARDC public roundtables
The ARDC is launching a new digital research infrastructure program, People Research Data Commons, to support health and biomedical researchers in solving some of Australia’s biggest societal health and medical challenges. Health researchers are invited to two public roundtable consultations on 1 and 2 June to discuss data challenges in health research. Register here or contact [email protected] for further information.
Fellows in the News
- Professor Sharon Lewin spoke to The New York Times about Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ABC Radio National about Australia’s high COVID-19 case numbers.
- Professor Ian Hickie co-authored a review of 30 years of Australia’s National Mental Health Strategy for the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
- Professor Andrew Whitehouse featured in an article in the West Australian on autism intervention. He also spoke to the Australian Financial Review about autism therapy and the NDIS.
- 2021 Jian Zhou recipient Sherene Loi co-wrote an article for Clinical Cancer Research on quantity of immune cells for targeted immunotherapy.
- Professor Peter Doherty discussed life and work on ABC Radio Melbourne Mornings radio, and was quoted on the combination of flu and COVID-19 in the Herald Sun.
- Professor Brendan Crabb discussed Australia’s high COVID-19 infections with the ABC.
- Professor Fran Baum wrote about the need for better data on health inequities for Medical Journal of Australia. She also authored an article about sustainable development goals for BMJ and co-authored a piece on making universities safe workplaces for Croakey Health Media.
- AAHMS Climate Change and Health committee co-chairs Professor Warwick Anderson, Professor Fran Baum and Professor Tony Capon authored an article on the health impacts of climate change in Australia.
- Professor Louise Baur was quoted in New Scientist regarding a study about BMI and mortality rates for people aged over 80.
- Professor Andrew Lloyd was quoted on a mysterious strain of hepatitis in children in Cosmos daily news and Hospitals and Healthcare magazine, as well as SBS news.
- Professor Flavia Cicuttini wrote about the interconnectivity between joint health and heart health for Monash Lens. She was also quoted on Channel 9 about how genetic variations could help predict a person’s risk of needing a joint replacement.
- Professor Maree Teesson contributed an opinion article on youth mental health for the Sydney Morning Herald.