September 24, 2020

Research Week 2020: Inspired Researchers

Who could have imagined that only six months ago that we would be hosting Research Week 2020 as a purely virtual event as we continue to transition a large proportion of our services towards digital health via telehealth, in-hospital monitoring and home-based healthcare solutions?

It will be our inspired researchers who will lead the way on our journey to a ‘new normal’ – while new treatments and a potential vaccine will likely dominate headlines, it is the new ways of doing many of the things we have taken for granted that is already advancing healthcare, delivery and consumer-led experience.

The events during Research Week 2020 have been organised in a very different way with virtual presentations, posters, guest speakers and workshops. They will highlight the quality of research occurring across the spectrum that are being driven by an increasing number of our Northern Health staff. Highlighted is the increasing volume of projects being conducted with our academic partners; Melbourne, La Trobe, RMIT and Swinburne Universities.

We are privileged to have an exciting range of speakers at Research Week 2020. They will encourage us to reflect upon our current practices and challenge us to explore how we can rise above the increasing demands we will continue to face.

Research at Northern Health is not just about Research Week, and here are just a few of our highlights during the year:

  • Associate Professor Lisa Hui was awarded a $1.28m Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) investigator grant for her project ‘closing the critical knowledge gaps in perinatal genomics’
  • Our Low Risk Human Research Ethics Committee celebrated its first-year anniversary
  •  RedCAP now live as a tool for our researchers:
  • Research Grand Rounds are now well established occurring weekly on Tuesday
  • Two new PhD scholarships were awarded to Natali Cvetanovska and Dr Julie Wang, and $50,000 worth of Small Research Grants were awarded to researchers thanks to the generosity of the Northern Health Foundation and our community donors
  • Participation in a number of COVID-19 research activities and clinical trials under the stewardship of Associate Professor Craig Aboltins and Dr Angaj Ghosh. These include ASCOT, CHARTER, SPRINT-SARI and participating in our first phase I study evaluating a protection device for our clinical staff caring for unwell patients in ICU

Congratulations and thank you to all who have contributed to research at Northern Health in 2020. The future is unknown but by reviewing and evaluating what we do, and how we do it, we will have the opportunity to change things for the better and to continue to deliver trusted care in partnership with our community.

Professor Peter Brooks AM,  Research Lead – Northern Health.