September 3, 2019

Translational research growing at Northern Health

In many ways our research capacity and capabilities are growing significantly at Northern Health and it’s important to acknowledge some key recent developments.

NHMRC Grant for Interactive Digital Technologies

Melbourne University, in Collaboration with Northern Health, has received a $2.5 million NHMRC Grant to create research capability in digital population health research and methods that will significantly improve chronic disease outcomes.

This grant is important for Northern Health because it fits with our Staying Well initiative and our strategic goal to keep people well in the community. As an organisation, we are looking forward to finding new ways to tackle chronic disease and engaging with patients to design new technologies.

The Chief Investigator will be Professor Brian Oldenburg, working in collaboration with Northern Health and our patients, with the aim to help people with heart disease, diabetes and other conditions to better manage their health. Congratulations to our Research Lead Professor Peter Brooks for his work on attracting this research funding.

Over the next five years, we are aiming to have 10-12 doctoral students training here, as well as post-doctorates and other research staff working on the project.

Collaboration with Amazon and Swinburne University of Technology

In another significant development, Northern Health recently partnered with Swinburne University of Technology and Amazon Web Services on an innovation challenge to assist people with diabetes.

Northern Health joined the launch of Swinburne University’s Data for Social Good Cloud Innovation Centre. The Centre is one of seven worldwide, and the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. It aims to help solve challenges faced by society – powered by cloud technology. The first innovation challenge involved Swinburne’s Junior Consultants co-designing with Northern Health on the diabetes project and working alongside strategic healthcare advisors.

Melbourne Academic Centre for Health Executive visit

Last week, we hosted Professor Sir John Savill, the new Executive Director Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH), at Northern Hospital Epping.

Professor Sir John Savill is a leading figure in the global medical research community from the University of Edinburgh, where he developed the university’s clinical medical research capacity to where it rivals Britain’s top universities.

He spoke with us about how the MACH will help us with developing partnerships – to become even more involved in translational research to improve the health of our community. Sir John emphasised that health services involved in research and clinical trials have better patient outcomes.

Left to right: Dr Leonie Griffiths Northern Health; Siva Sivarajah Chief Executive Northern Health; Prof Sir John Savill Executive Director MACH; Prof David Story MACH; Prof Peter Brooks Northern Health Research; Dr John Ferguson Chief Medical Officer Northern Health.

Research Week 2019

I look forward to Northern Health Research Week 7 – 10 October, where we showcase our research and have the opportunity to hear from inspirational speakers. I hope you can participate in many of the sessions.

Have a great week ahead.

Siva Sivarajah

Chief Executive