Translation, translation, translation

Plenty of low hanging fruit – NHMRC’s Research Translation Symposium

I have written often about the potential for research to reduce the costs of health care especially a great deal of health services and clinical research funded by NHMRC.

This was demonstrated in abundance at NHMRC’s Research Translation Faculty Symposium in Melbourne last week. This is an arm in the Virtuous Cycle that must be strengthened. While some research may indeed make health care more expensive (but also more effective) through new technologies, drugs and devices, research can and must be used more in the future in public and private decision making. Let’s stop paying for procedures and products that are ineffective.

For those of you that couldn’t make the Symposium last week, the final panel session was moderated by the ABC's Paul Barclay and recorded by ABC Radio National's Big Ideas – listeners will be able to hear it on Wednesday 19 November on Radio National at 8pm. There was some truly stimulating discussion.

Singapore Biomedical Science International Advisory Council

I attended this Council the week before last, advising the Singapore Government on their push to build industries of the future by expanding health and medical research. We were able to discuss our views with the Singaporean Prime Minister and the progress made by our small near neighbour is impressive. Both their Universities now rank highly in international rankings and at both a political level, and research level, the nation truly embraces the concept of the Virtuous Cycle to use research to boost community and commercial gains.

Prime Minister’s Prize for Science

Sam Berkovic and Ingrid Scheffer have been awarded the 2014 Prime Minister’s Science Prize this year for their outstanding work on epilepsy – combining exceptional clinical research, clinical care of individual patients, and laboratory genetics. Both are NHMRC Practitioner Fellows, a scheme that we are very proud of here at NHMRC. First introduced in 2000 when I was chair of the Research Committee, these Fellowships are reserved for practitioners who are otherwise employed to provide clinical care. The Fellowships are part time, yet the Fellows perform at levels that rival many who are full time in research. Both Sam and Ingrid are no exception and I congratulate them whole-heartedly on their well-deserved award.

Professor Warwick Anderson AM
Chief Executive Officer, NHMRC

Knowledge Broker

An interview with Professor Davina Ghersi, Senior Principle Research Scientist at NHMRC, published in the December 2014 issue of International Innovation magazine.