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Leaders in medical device development

New South Wales (NSW) and its capital Sydney represent Australias largest economy and is a hub for medical device development.
NSW is home to a skilled workforce of clinicians, medical researchers and expert healthcare professionals working in a broad range of areas. Medical device companies in NSW, ranging from start-ups to international market leaders, are actively seeking to expand their networks of customers, distributors and partners. NSW organisations have strengths across the broad spectrum of medical device innovation including: clinical trials laboratory equipment diagnostics devices general hospital supplies surgical and imaging equipment biomedical devices and implants monitoring equipment electronic and scientific equipment drug delivery systems dental equipment.

The States research sector brings expertise in engineering, physics, mathematics, health and medical research critical technologies in device development. Industry and Investment NSW (I&I NSW) is the economic development agency of NSW. I&I NSW can facilitate doing business with NSW organisations by: Helping locate, identify and develop relationships with the right NSW supplier Providing insight on NSW research and development capabilities Facilitating introductions to NSW businesses.

Contact us on +61 2 9338 6771 or email

health-related software

Left and centre images courtesy of Cochlear


The clever country excels in medical research

Professor Julie Campbell AO, FAA President, Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes

Steering Australias research Roxby Media Australia Suite 804, Level 8, 37 Bligh Street Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Phone: +61 2 8246 7400 Editor: Dominic Cadden Art Director/Cover Design: Anthea Vandertouw Graphic Design/Magazine Layout: Stew OBrien Media & Events Manager: Sandra Johansson Sales Manager: Ben OBrien Group Manager, Specialist Projects: Bruce Jenner CEO: David Collett

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National Health and Medical Research Council

A dedicated strategy to build biotech

Australian Trade Commission

Australias next wave of health innovation A proud history of innovation Molecularly targeted therapy

Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes Australias influence on the world of healthcare Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Research underpins healthcare Neurodegenerative disease

Garvan Research Foundation

The Australian Society for Medical Research

Answers in stem cells

Australian Research Council

Synergies through imaging Leadership in research

C University Australia

National Imaging Foundation

The genomics and genetics of human cancer

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Realities of e-health Precincts and innovation

University of Melbourne We would like to thank the following for their support and cooperation: The National Health and Medical Research Council, The Garvan Research Foundation, Australian Research Council, Medical Technology Association of Australia, Ashraf Dower, May Wong, Jason Lehr, Hassan Ahmad, Omar Salem and Ana Penteado. Innovation in Healthcare Special Australia Supplement is published by Roxby Media Australia Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction or distribution in any form, in whole or in part, without written permission is prohibited. Roxby Media is not responsible for the views and opinions of contributing journalists. To the maximum extent allowable by law, Roxby Media assumes no responsibility for errors and omissions appearing herein, and no responsibility is accepted by Roxby Media for the accuracy of any statement or advice contained in the advertisements. Information is correct at time of printing.

Healthcare education

Charles Sturt University

Moving forward with medical technology

Medical Technology Association of Australia

Medical device development

Industry & Investment NSW

Advances in cancer imaging

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

A new paradigm for healthcare

Device Technologies CL Plastics Hospira

Plastics in medical applications Cost-effective injectables Opportunities Downunder

Hamilton Watts International Migration Service


Let Our Brains

Help Yours
Imagine having Australias leading researchers at your fingertips.
Your Open Innovation partner is literally only a click away Youll have access to the best scientists, researchers and technology developments at one of Australias leading universities. Best of all, were actually seeking Open Innovation Partners to license or co-develop breakthrough innovations. We are NewSouth Innovations Pty Limited, a company owned by the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and were dedicated to helping researchers make a difference. To view our technology portfolio or to engage with us please click

Clever Country

Professor Julie Campbell AO, FAA President, Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes Director, The Wesley Research Institute

The clever country excels in medical research

Australians have long been proud of our ingenuity and we often claim to be the clever country. While Australia has a strong record of innovation in many fields, health and medical research arguably provides some of the finest examples of our achievements. The invention of the pacemaker by Sydney doctor Mark Lidwell, Graeme Clarks development of the cochlear implant, Barry Marshall and Robin Warrens discovery that Helicobactor pylori causes most gastritis and peptic ulcers, and Ian Frazers vaccine for human papilloma virus to prevent cervical cancer, are just some of the major medical breakthroughs and innovations to come from Australia. It is fair to say that Australias medical research achievements are beyond what would be expected, given our nations population and public investment in health and medical research to date. The Australian governments 1999 Health and Medical Research Strategic Review, the landmark Wills Review, identified that Australias per capita expenditure on medical research was significantly lower than mean expenditure of other OECD nations1. The Wills Review identified that the additional investment in health and medical research would deliver significant long-term social and economic returns through improving the health and wealth of Australians. This review, and the subsequent Investment Review of Health and Medical Research2, laid the foundation for a decade of unprecedented public investment in the sector through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Australias primary medical research funding body. Economic pressures, such as those imposed by the recent natural disasters experienced across Australia, will place considerable pressure on forthcoming health and medical research expenditure. I am optimistic, however, that Prime Minister Julia Gillards government has the foresight to maintain current funding levels as Australia moves towards national healthcare reform.


Professor Julie Campbell AO, FAA

This new endeavour signals an important change towards greater integration of health research, education and primary care
This year, nine leading research institutions and hospitals will come together to form Australias first Academic Health Science Centre (AHSC). This new collaborative endeavour signals an important change towards greater integration of health research, education and primary care in Australia. Such centres should accelerate the translation of research innovations into clinical practice. As President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes, the peak body representing Australias independent medical research institutes, I am excited to see our member institutes playing a central role in the introduction of AHSCs. In addition, stronger links between research and primary care will embed innovation into our nations health system to allow it to responsive to the needs of Australias ageing population.
1. The Virtuous Circle: Working Together for Health and Medical Research - Health and Medical Strategic Review. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. 1999. 2. Sustaining the virtuous cycle for a healthy, competitive Australia. Investment Review of Health and Medical Research. Final report. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. 2004.


Contact: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Tel: +61 2 6217 9000 Fax: 61 2 6217 9100 E-mail: Website:

Research and international collaboration

Steering Australias research and international collaboration

For the last 75 years the National Health and Medical Research Council NHMRC has brought together the functions of research funding and development of health and ethics advice in a single national organisation, contributing to Australians improved life expectancy, improved health and growing economy.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is the Australian Governments key agency for: managing investment in health and medical research; developing evidence-based health advice for the Australian community, health professionals and government; and providing advice on ethical practice in healthcare and in the conduct of health and medical research. The NHMRCs investment in health and medical research advances health and medical knowledge. International collaborations are essential to the achievements of our goals, and playing our part in improving global health is an identified focus area in NHMRCs Strategic Plan 2010-12. NHMRC currently funds, though Australian universities and research institutes, considerable amounts of research outside of Australia. No restrictions are placed on where our funded research is conducted, provided that the funds are administered under the control of an Australian research institution. NHMRC funding is therefore transportable, flexible and assures quality research as a return on investment.


NHMRC Project Grants are our main avenue of support for individuals and small teams of researchers undertaking biomedical, public health and health services research in universities, medical schools, hospitals and other research institutions. In the 2010 Project Grant application round, 18 per cent (133 of 756 total) of funded grants had one (or more) international chief investigators. In other words, nearly one of five Project Grants had international participation. Our international contribution is well reflected in published research. In the NHMRCs latest bibliometric report 36.6 per cent of papers published from NHMRC funded research had international collaboration. The top five countries involved in Australian/international published research are USA (47.9% of all international collaborations), England (16.5%), Germany (10.3%), Canada (9%) and Japan (7.1%). 1

reputation in health and medical research through international participation. More significantly however, the NHMRC is, through its funding, contributing to a greater critical mass to major health problems that need research. This critical mass is essential to ensuring that health and medical research directly contributes to overcoming the burden of disease that is still affecting so many people around the world. The NHMRC is also working to ensure that ethical guidelines, and health advice are developed internationally. This enhances the capacity of research, when conducted to the highest standards, to be an effective use of resources and also ensures that research results are translated into meaningful change.



NHMRC has entered into a large number of partnerships with international funding bodies. These affiliations aim to: co-fund health and medical research projects; promote the health and medical research sector; foster opportunities for Australian researchers to attract

NHMRC is actively working to strengthen Australias international


Research and international collaboration


research funding from other international funding bodies; create opportunities for researchers to be involved in major international collaborative activities and influence their development; and provide research support through access to techniques and technologies not yet available in Australia.

These partnerships include: European Union Collaborative Research Grants Scheme Projects involving Australian researchers based in Australia that are chosen by the European Commission (EC) for funding through the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) may be eligible for NHMRC support. The total NHMRC funds available under this scheme each year is A$4 million. European Molecular Biology Laboratories Network NHMRC funds a program leader to work in a European laboratory and forge links between that laboratory and Australian researchers. The positions are available for five years in Europe. Human Frontier Science Program (HSFP) HFSP supports novel, innovative and interdisciplinary basic research focused on the complex mechanisms of living organisms. Research emphasises novel collaborations that bring biologists together with scientists from fields such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science and engineering to focus on problems at the frontier of the life sciences. More than 30 countries worldwide are involved, including the NHMRC that has committed US$2.54 million to this program.

International Cancer Genome Consortium This program is the largest international effort to obtain a comprehensive understanding of genomic, transcriptomic and epigenomic changes in 50 different tumour types and/or subtypes that are of clinical and societal importance across the globe. The Australian Government will provide A$27.5 million over five years through the NHMRC to fund research into pancreatic and ovarian cancers. Global Alliance for Chronic Disease The Alliance is formed by six of the worlds peak health and medical research funding agencies, which represent 80 per cent of the worlds health and medical research funding. Through NHMRC, Australia is working with the other GACD members to coordinate research activities addressing the prevention and treatment of chronic noncommunicable disease, such as hypertension, on a global scale. This first call from the GACD, in April 2011, will target the almost one billion people worldwide who have high blood pressure. It will seek to identify why this pandemic is occurring despite the progress that is being made towards the prevention and treatment of hypertension. International Stem Cell Forum This is a collaboration of 14 national and private research funding organisations that are working together to facilitate international collaboration in stem cell research. UK Human Genetics Commission An international collaboration on genetics issues leading to a

harmonised approach to genetics across jurisdictions. Heads of International Research Organisations Most major national and private funding bodies are represented, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Meetings are held every six months to discuss important issues facing all funding bodies.


Guidelines International Network This is an international association of organisations and individuals involved in the development and use of clinical practice guidelines. NHMRC is an active member of this organisation. International Council for Laboratory Animal Sciences The main objective of the council is to develop international standards related to the care and use of laboratory animals. The NHMRC is strongly committed to supporting the best international research alliances to build international understanding of health issues. For more information on the National Health and Medical Research Council, including research funding, health and ethical guidelines and health advice, go to

1. L Butler & K Henadeera, National Health and Medical Research Council, Measuring Up 2009: NHMRC - Supported Research. The Impact of journal publication output 2002-2009, February 2009



Dedicated strategy helps build biotech

The Australian Trade Commission helps to build strategic partnerships overseas and linkages between Australian organisations in order to maintain and grow Australias strength in biotechnology.
The Australian Trade Commission, Austrade, is the Australia Federal Government agency that supports and assists Australian businesses to develop trade and investment in other countries, providing information, advice and services which, in turn, facilitate foreign direct investment into Australia. Austrades offices are present in over 100 locations in some 55 countries and it is a statutory authority under the portfolio of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Australia is a biotechnology world leader, with significant research discoveries in this area, which is the result of its world-class research facilities, high-level scientists and a strong but flexible regulatory regime. There are 470 biotechnology companies established in Australia - 49 per cent in therapeutics, 15 percent in agricultural biotechnology and 13 per cent in diagnostics. Consequently, biotechnology plays an important role in the Australian economy. Aware of this importance, Austrade put in place a dedicated Biotech team to assist business in this dynamic-growth area. This team has individuals with areas of expertise in science, marketing, international business, intellectual property, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and genetics and the team has representatives from Australia, the Americas, Europe and Asia. This Biotech team allows Austrade to identify new opportunities and strategic partners overseas in the biotechnology area and link them to Australian companies, creating a good source of networking to generate new business. The team export and foreign investment opportunities for Australian businesses. Part of the Austrade role is also to provide financial assistance to Australian businesses. One example of this is Austrades Export Market Development Grants (EMDG). This scheme, aimed to small to medium enterprises that have been investing in promoting their goods or services to overseas markets, provides financial assistance to encourage Australian exporters to develop these markets. The scheme supports a wide range of industry sectors and products, including inbound tourism and the export of intellectual property and know-how outside Australia, with eligible businesses reimbursed up to 50 per cent of the marketing costs incurred in developing international markets. Austrades involvement also assists Australian businesses to increase their international exposure by coordinating businesses participation on industry and trade exhibitions and other events and activities that may generate new opportunities, providing them specialist marketing support. Targeted teams such as the Biotech team enable Austrade to provide Australian businesses with the exclusive industry expertise, knowledge and attention that the complex biotech area requires.



also provides advice and guidance to investments overseas, analyses joint venture opportunities, organises market research and intelligence and competitor analysis and helps the development of strategies to enter a specific market. Austrades Biotech team not only assists Australian business with trade and investment overseas, but also facilitates the process of finding Australian suppliers for foreign companies, finding


Health Innovation

Contact: Dr Peter Cook, ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTES Tel: +61 7 37211709 E-mail: Website:

Australias next wave of health innovation

Independent medical research institutes (MRIs) occupy an integral component in Australias health and innovation systems. They undertake a broad spectrum of research, from fundamental biomedical discovery through to translational and clinical research. Many of Australias MRIs are co-located with major teaching hospitals and provide a critical link for the translation of new discoveries into clinical outcomes. Commercialising health innovations is a strength for many MRIs - a fact that is exemplified by the success of MRIs in the recently awarded National Health and Medical Research Council Development Grants. This scheme supports early pre-seed or proof-of-principle research activities. Nine of the 18 funded projects were awarded to research projects being led through MRIs. This equates to a total of $3.5 million towards commercialisation activities administered through MRIs. Two research teams at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute were awarded grants to progress the commercial development of new health innovations. Profesor Karlheinz Peter and colleagues will further develop a new diagnostic technology to identify patients and blood vessels that are at risk of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism. His team has developed a new magnetic resonance imaging nanoparticle for the detection of activated platelets, a precursor to clot and plaque formation, to identify at risk blood vessels. In a separate initiative, Professor Geoff Head will develop a treatment for congestive heart failure, a fatal disease affecting nearly half a million Australians. His team will develop a novel therapy, based on a natriuretic peptide isolated from snake venom, which will be orally administered and more effective than current treatments. Dr Sebastian Carotta from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research will lead
Sebastian Carcotta


exciting opportunity to overcome these limitations, which put many lives at risk. Centre for Eye Research Australia researcher, Professor Donald Martin, received funding to trial a non-invasive system for delivering drugs to the interior of the eye. If successful, this technology may mean the end of frequent, painful eye injections for patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration. The drug delivery is via a gel placed over the eye. A device attached to the gel produces ultrasonic pulses that propel this drug from the gel into the eye. CERA Research Fellow Dr Paul Connell said, The device uses an innovative combination of nanotechnology and ultrasound to deliver a non-invasive and painless dose of medication that can specifically target the retina at the back of the eye. These projects demonstrate the diversity of leading edge research being undertaken within Australias MRIs and the latest innovations that may be helping patients in the future.

Professor Karlheinz Peetr Baker

a team that will investigate the development of a system to generate red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells. The successful development of this stem cell technology may overcome problems associated with the supply and delivery of donor blood for lifesaving transfusions. Red blood cell transfusions can be life-saving, however demand for banked blood continues to outpace the supply, Dr Carotta said. Access to blood transfusions is limited by a lack of donors, lack of blood of the correct type, and short shelf-life of blood and blood products. Stem cells provide an


Australias proud history of innovation

Australians have always been great innovators, particularly in the fields of health and biomedical sciences. Dominic Cadden looks at just some of the modern Australian innovations that have had a significant impact on healthcare around the world.
Flu virus has a part of its molecule that doesnt change through different generations. That was the key element for researchers trying to develop a treatment for flu, a common viral disease. CSIRO Division of Protein Chemistry was responsible for the achievement of the anti-flu drug Relenza. The use of the medication, after many tests, was finally approved for human use. Biota Holdings gave funds to its development, and the product was later manufactured by Glaxo Australia. In 2000, the drug was approved for release and today it is used in more than 50 countries. Relenza was the first of a new generation of drugs that acted to prevent the spread of infection from one cell to another within the respiratory tract.

Australian innovation in healthcare

Dr Fiona Stanley discovered a lowcost prevention against this serious birth defect that can affect the legs and feet, bowel, bladder and brain: folate. Its easy to find folate is the naturally occurring form of folic acid or vitamin B9 found in many vegetable, fortified grain products and seeds, but folate tablets are also readily available. Increased folate intake one month before conception and daily during the first three months of pregnancy can prevent up to 70 per cent of spina bifida cases, and this knowledge has seen spina bifida cases in newborns plummet across the world.

Counting areas of influenza virus growth in cell culture, a technique for assessing efficacy of anti-influenza drug Relenza.
Credit: CSIRO Molecular & Health Technologies

The cochlear implant has helped thousands of people to hear clearly again. When used with a microphone and speech processor, the implant electrically stimulates the auditory nerve and results in the person being able to hear sound. After years of research and improvements, enough funds were raised to make and test a prototype of Professor Graeme Clarks

The interaction of the anti-influenza drug Relenza, buried in the active site pocket of influenza virus neuraminidase protein. Credit: CSIRO Molecular & Health Technologies


Australian innovation in healthcare


Scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, led by Professor Alan Cowman, were the first to develop a genetically-modified strain of malaria. The Plasmodium falciparum, a protozoan parasite, is responsible for the highest mortality rates of malaria. By removing two of its key genes, the researchers successfully modified the parasite genetically so that it can be used in the development of vaccines without the risk of malaria infection. The vaccine it is still being tested with trials in humans at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Maryland, USA.

has four valves and if even one fails, it has to be replaced. Dr Chang was concerned about the lack of organ donors and consequently began work on an artificial heart before his death.

In 1992, plastic surgeon Dr Fiona Wood saw a school teacher at Perth Hospital with petrol burns to 90 per cent of her body. At the time, skin culturing technology took 21 days to develop enough skin to cover major burns. Dr Wood developed techniques that cut this to just five days, which sped up healing and significantly reduced scarring. The Bali bombings of 2002

An Audio Processor with earmould for Electric Acoustic Stimulation (the use of a hearing aid and a cochlear implant together in the same ear) worn by user.

invention. The commercialisation of the product began with the introduction of Nucleus(r) 22 in 1983, after a partnership between University of Melbourne, Nucleus and the Federal Government. This collaboration led to the creation of Cochlear Pty Ltd, an Australian company specialising in the cochlear implant.


By 1991, Dr Michael Ryan and Dr Stephen Ruff at Sydneys North Shore Hospital perfected a method to use plastic rods to repair bones instead of metal pins and screws, which caused interference with MRI and CAT scans. Today there are several different types of plastic screws used in orthopaedic surgery. Some of these are even absorbed into the body during healing, as opposed to metal screws, which often have to be surgically removed.

Ring forms of the Plasmodium falciparum (malaria) parasite, inside red blood cells.
Credit: MichaelZahniser


This artificial heart valve has saved hundreds of lives in Australia and South-East Asia since it was developed in the early 1990s, thanks to work initiated by the late Dr Victor Chang. A human heart

occurred before this process could be clinically evaluated, but several of the worst victims were flown to Perth Hospital for treatment, where Dr Woods pioneering technique substantially reduced the death toll among these horrific burns cases.


Australian innovation in healthcare

by the human papillomavirus (HPV), and after parallel research with their American counterparts, Professor Ian Frazer and others at the University of Queensland developed a vaccine against the virus. The HPV vaccine became available in Australia in 2007.

Australia is giving diabetics the world over a chance for life without the needle. In 2010 Melbourne company Phosphagenics will conduct second phase of human trials for a form of insulin that can be absorbed through the skin. That means that for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes sufferers a slow-release insulin patch could cut the need for or even replace needles.

Dr Andre Chong and his team of researchers at St Vincents Hospital in Melbourne made a 27mm-long capsule housing a tiny camera. A quick swallow can now often replace the need for uncomfortable colonoscopies and endoscopies, and it does a better job than either of investigating the notoriously difficult-to-visualise small intestine. Every half-second the capsule transmits digital images to a recording device. Since

widespread use began in 2003, this has been a blessing for people with obscure gastro-intestinal bleeding or suspected small bowel Crohns disease.

More than 15 years of research at Melbourne University led to the development of Recaldent. Professor Eric Reynolds, Head of the School of Dental Science, wanted to find a way that calcium and phosphate from cows milk could repair damaged tooth enamel. His team of researchers came up with a compound derived from milk proteins that could bind to teeth and provide a reservoir of calcium and phosphate on the tooths surface that could be absorbed by the tooth enamel. Today, Recaldent is incorporated into products such as chewing gum, toothpaste and mouthwash.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide, but Australia helped cut down this scourge of womens health. About 70 per cent of cervical cancer cases are caused

Solarscan completely swung the battle against skin cancer. Developed in 1998 through Polartechnics Ltd, the Sydney Melanoma Unit and the CSIRO, the Solarscan quickly detect melanomas. A camera takes a



Australian innovation in healthcare

second sprints on a stationary bike followed by 12 seconds of cycling lightly produced much better results than the typical, steady-pace, low intensity 40 minute workout, and researchers suggested this format would also work for other cardio activities. Chemical compounds called catecholamines are produced from interval sprinting, and its thought that these drive the greater weight loss.

Dr Kim Branson was a PhD student at CSIRO Health Sciences

& Nutrition and the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute (University of Melbourne) when he designed and built the Caduceus supercomputer in 2000. Sixty-four computers linked together in a Beowulf cluster (high-performance parallel computing clusters of inexpensive personal computer hardware) form Caduceus, which designs and evaluate new drugs by screening millions of chemical compounds from a variety of sources to then identify possible drugs. Not only is the process incredibly fast, it also replaces labour-intensive lab testing.

picture of a suspicious spot and stores the image on a computer, where it is magnified and enhanced to remove hairs and oil. Special software analyses the image against a databank to determine whether the spot it is likely to be a melanoma.


The Garvan Institute and the University of NSW worked together to devise a 20-minute workout that changed the way many think about fat loss training for the untrained or obese. The routine of eight-

The Beowulf cluster caduceus used for the identification of novel drugs in silico.
Credit: Mark Fergus, CSIRO Molecular & Health Technologies





Australian success

Contact: Peter Macs Communications Tel: +61 3 9656 5883 E-mail: Website:

Peter Mac leads trials in molecularly targeted therapy

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, has established itself as a world leader in developing and testing novel molecularly targeted therapeutics.
Personalised medicine involves the choice of drug treatment as a consequence of the presence of a biomarker (often a defined mutation) that indicates the susceptibility or resistance of a patients tumour/cancer to a specific drug. This is another example of an emerging strategy to battle cancer - to understand the proteins inside a cancer cell that mutate, explains Head of the Melanoma and Skin Service at Peter Mac, Associate Professor Grant McArthur. We can then very specifically design drugs to target those proteins. In one such example, researchers in Peter Macs Molecular Pathology laboratory developed sophisticated molecular screening tests to identify patients with mutations in the BRAF gene. BRAF gene mutations occur in around eight to nine per cent of all cancers, but are very common (approx. 50 per cent) in advanced melanoma (skin cancer). The Melanoma and Skin Service at Peter Mac has been involved in trials of BRAF inhibitors, joining with cancer centres in the USA to lead the development of this class of anti-cancer treatment in the hope of establishing a new way of treating melanoma. An amazing 100 per cent of patients responded to the treatment, as Associate Professor McArthur explains: Were used to seeing some patients benefit, and others


Scans of a patient with melanoma treated with a BRAF inhibitor. Multiple deposits in the abdomen involving the small bowel are typically very difficult to detect on CT but are clearly visualised because of their high glucose use on FDG PET/CT.

unchanged during clinical trials in cancer. The fact we can do a gene test, identify mutations and develop a drug thats specifically designed to inhibit that mutation in the cancer cell and achieve this strike rate, even in early stages of trial, is an exciting development. These results indicate a highly promising way to combat melanoma in its more advanced stages, providing patients that have progressive disease with a new treatment option. Supporting this exciting trial is the Melbourne Melanoma Project (MMP), established with Victorian Government funding as a collaboration between clinicians, pathologists, molecular biologists, the Victorian Cancer Biobank, Biogrid Australia and major Melbourne melanoma services at Peter Mac, the Alfred and Austin

hospitals. The MMP aims to further unlock the molecular secrets of melanoma and develop more, new therapeutic strategies by identifying further specific molecular targets, and links the collection of clinical and outcome data from melanoma patients with routine molecular evaluation of patients melanomas. The project is emblematic of Peter Macs belief that innovative collaborations bringing together the brightest minds in cancer research and the clinic will lead to faster discoveries and advances in clinical care. There are various genome projects underway conducting DNA sequencing in cancer. Within five years we will have identified all the major mutations in all the common cancers, says Associate Professor McArthur. It really is a new era for cancer research.



Contact: Catherine West, Snr Executive Officer, THE AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH Tel: + 61 2 9526 5450 E-mail: Website:

Research underpins effective delivery of healthcare

The Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) is the peak organisation representing health and medical researchers in Australia. Through direct members and affiliations ASMR reaches more than 25,000 Australians actively involved in health and medical research (HMR), with corporate and disease related foundations members bringing another 100,000 stakeholders into the ASMR network.
Australia is blessed with a worldclass HMR sector underpinning improvement in the health and wellbeing of our citizens, contributing to increased workforce productivity and bringing significant economic benefit of the nation. In terms of productivity, the sector has been an outstanding contributor to innovation and has delivered exceptional research output double that of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average on a per capita basis - with strikingly high international standing by research publication citation. Australia has been awarded six Nobel Prizes in medicine or physiology, and our translational outcomes are impressive in global terms. For example, lithium for treating bipolar disorder, the bionic ear, antibiotic treatment of Helicobacter pylori in peptic ulcers, and a cervical cancer vaccine, to name but a few. With a report card like this, surely the stage is set for the health and medical research sector to meet head-on the threats, challenges and opportunities to Australians long-term health and economic future. Or is it? Some obvious challenges to health include the high incidence of disease within Aboriginal communities, increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases, a rapidly ageing population (with associated chronic disease), and the threat of disease related to climate change. The challenge now is to lock in investment in the health and medical research sector with sustainable investment that guarantees the strength and diversity of our world-class research, so that it can continue to deliver the strong economic returns and improved health outcomes to Australia. A sustainable investment mechanism would stamp out the detrimental effects of the funding troughs the sector often endures. Funding is unpredictable for health and medical research, with


2008 ASMR Medallist Sir Gustav Nossal gives his presentation at the Perth Gala Dinner during ASMR Medical Research Week


the ups and downs often only avoided by concentrated lobbying efforts from the medical research community. These downs have, and will continue to have, devastating effects on the workforce and health outcomes if they continue to occur.

Established in 1961, ASMR is a non-profit, independent society with the goal of fostering excellence in health and medical research. Our long tradition of public, political and scientific advocacy continues as we inform debates on scientific issues, promote scientific excellence and cross-collaborations, increase community understanding of the benefits and achievements of HMR, and campaign for stable and appropriate funding to maintain an internationally competitive health and medical research program.


The Australian Federal Government has begun the implementation phase of its health reform agenda A National Health and Hospitals Network for Australias Future. They





Winners of prizes for excellent oral presentations at an ASMR Scientific Symposium during ASMR Medical Research Week.

now face the difficult task of implementing an effective, selfimproving healthcare system robust enough to deal with the unprecedented challenges of an ageing population, the escalating burden of chronic, lifestyle-related diseases and a disproportionate disease incidence among our indigenous population. Predicted healthcare costs associated with these issues are frightening the Governments own Intergenerational Report 2010 (a projected assessment of the nations demographic, economic and social makeup forward to 2050), makes for very sobering reading. Here is just one example, and a very appropriate one in the context of Australias increasingly ageing population: dementia is a disease predominantly affecting older people and it is a significant health problem in Australia, with currently just under a quarter of a million sufferers and projected increases to over 1.1 million by 2050. The cost in terms of human suffering is incalculable, and the cost in terms of health expenditure will, by the 2060s, outstrip that of any other health condition. Addressing these future healthcare challenges will not be easy it will

require a broad and encompassing long-term vision and a focus on utilising the nations resources, particularly our human capital, more effectively while exploring novel approaches to alleviate the burdens on the current system. The recent focus on health reform also presents an opportunity to emphasise to both state and federal government that the efficient and effective delivery of healthcare is critically underpinned by a vibrant and productive HMR sector. Indeed, the broad spectrum of basic and applied HMR informs and facilitates the process of healthcare delivery at every stage, from the identification of preventative health measures through to the development and delivery of more effective treatments for patients.

knowledge through research. This doesnt just make sense in a social context by alleviating the burden of disease and keeping people out of hospitals in the first place, but it also leads to significant economic benefits by keeping them in the workforce longer, leading healthier more productive lives. The Australian HMR sector is in a strong position to respond readily to these new challenges. We boast a highly skilled and productive workforce, with a proven track record of world-class bench to bedside research. Such a vital skill base requires solid and appropriate


While many countries with similar demographics to Australia are also grappling with comparable healthcare challenges, Australia, as one of the most hospitalised nations in the world, has far more to lose than most if we dont join the dots between effective healthcare delivery and the creation of new health and medical

Prof Prue Hart presents to medical researchers at an ASMR Professional Development Day.



School students enjoy an ASMR public outreach event.


funding to continue its exceptional level of productivity funding that also recognises and encourages innovative, blue-sky research. This will provide the underpinning not only for new discovery, but also for the reformed health system to become a truly self-evaluating, self-improving organisation. There is also an increasing recognition of the value of a HMR sector that links universities, research institutes, public health agencies, primary care and teaching hospitals enabling the reverse concept of bedside to bench clinical issues informing and driving basic research to flourish.


An Access Economics report in 2008 (Exceptional Returns The Value of Investing in Health R&D in Australia II) revealed that investment in Australian health research and development (R&D) generates exceptional returns and has made a major contribution to increased workforce productivity and the economic benefit of the nation. Commercialisation of health and medical research in Australia has been growing at 16 per cent and economic benefits include the generation of over

4000 knowledge-based jobs resulting from the development of health and medical research discoveries. The report indicated that for every A$1 invested in health and medical research, there is an average of $2.2-$6 return to Australias economy. Other impressive economic findings of the study include expenditure on Australian health R&D between 1992/3 and 2004/5, estimated to return a net benefit of around A$29.5 billion, and that compared to return on investment, health R&D outperforms the market and is less only to that of mining and the retail/wholesale trade sectors. Moreover case studies suggest that further investment in four areas critical for the future health of Australians diabetes, dementia, cancer, and indigenous health will yield considerable health and economic and benefits. It is timely that Australia also looks beyond its shores and puts under the microscope countries that have a major long-term economic commitment to innovation, science, research and industry. The most ambitious program in the world is the European Framework 7 Programme. Thirty years in the making, the Framework 7 Programme has the commitment

of 27 European countries to invest three per cent gross domestic product (GDP) in R&D. Some already exceed this level. The result is a dynamic research community which is building in momentum. Australia needs to be outward looking and explore funding mechanisms that suit our culture, add value to existing domestic systems and embrace the Asia Pacific region. The ASMR recently bought together an eminent panel to discuss the possibilities, opportunities and challenges presented by an AsiaPacific Health and Medical Research Funding Union, which agreed that the genesis and implementation of such an initiative could only enhance the health, economy and stability of the region. In this exhilarating climate of change and reform in Australias healthcare system, the implementation of the health reform agenda is an opportunity for the Australian government to make a real difference to the delivery of effective healthcare in this country, in all its aspects an opportunity that we, as a nation, literally cant afford to squander. But it is also a timely imperative for Australias HMR community to step up and claim a place at the discussion table, actively engaging government in a productive dialogue aimed at facilitating the integration of research into that new and improved healthcare system. Government investment in health and medical research is an essential element of the healthcare of a nation. The level of that investment must realistically reflect the health needs of that nation. It is time to redress the traditional disconnect between HMR, often viewed as an admirable, but somewhat intellectual pursuit, and the delivery of better health outcomes for all Australians.






Contact: Dianne Lavender, Public Relations Manager, GARVAN RESEARCH FOUNDATION 384 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Tel: +61 2 9295 8116 E-mail: Website:

Understanding neurodegenerative disease

Dementia currently affects 245,000 Australians, with 1 million expected sufferers by 2050. More than 100,000 Australians are living with Parkinsons disease, a figure estimated to increase by 4 per cent each year. Garvans Neuroscience program is investigating these diseases from a range of approaches with the aim of better understanding the neuronal systems involved to ultimately pave the way for new therapies. In Alzheimers disease, a protein called tau abnormally aggregates in the brain cells, causing them to die. It is not known if this pathology, which is used definitely to diagnose Alzheimers after death, initiates the disease or results from the disease. In the case of Parkinsons, neurons in the part of the brain that control co-ordinated movement progressively degenerate. This creates a shortage of the neurotransmitter dopamine, causing the movement impairments that characterise the disease. Garvan is at the forefront of research into adult neural stem cells as possible neuroreplacement therapies for Parkinsons and Alzheimers. One of the many benefits of working with adult stem cells is that they have a multipotent nature. This means that they can develop only into closely related cells for example, Garvan researchers have shown it is possible to convert sensory olfactory stem cells from the nose into hearing receptor cells known as hair cells. The other main advantage of sourcing adult stem cells from the same patient is that they do not carry the same risk of immune rejection and therefore antirejection drugs are not required. Dr Kharen Doyle from Garvans Neuroscience program has been looking at the feasibility of using olfactory stem cells for conversion into the dopamine-producing neurons lost in Parkinsons disease (dopaminergic neurons). Ultimately, this work may lead to the ability to source olfactory stem cells from a patient and convert them into dopaminergic neurons, which would then be injected back into the area of the brain where these cells develop. the need for transplantation. Dr Doyle hopes to apply the same research approach to differentiate olfactory stem cells into acetylcholine-producing cholinergic neurons lost in Alzheimers disease. Also at the Garvan, Dr Antony Coopers lab is focusing on what causes neurons to malfunction and die at the earliest stages of Parkinsons disease progression. Understanding the first domino to fall in the progression of neuron death has many benefits. Firstly, it will assist in identifying biomarkers for early detection of the disease, prior to the onset of symptoms. This is crucial, given that

Neurodegenerative Disease


... showing how nerve cells in the brain produce an anti-inflammatory molecule that allows the brain to repair itself may possibly change the way we think about treating neurodegenerative diseases
Dr Doyle is also seeking to understand the molecular process underlying adult stem cell differentiation that is, the trigger driving a particular differentiation pathway. Understanding this process and the optimal environment for stem cell differentiation (or stem cell niche), it may then be possible to turn these triggers on within the brain without Parkinsons patients have lost at least 70 per cent of their dopamineproducing cells by the time symptoms appear. Secondly, it may be possible to identify drug targets to inhibit the processes leading to cell death. Dr Cooper is also looking for new genes (and their proteins) with links to Parkinsons disease in order to



Neurodegenerative Disease

understand why, when a particular gene is dysfunctional, the cell becomes more susceptible to failure leading to disease onset. Dr Coopers research is also focused on the interaction between the genes known to play a key role in Parkinsons, specifically PARK9 and alpha -synuclein. Scientists have known for some time that overexpression of PARK9 is toxic and has been found in abundance in the brains of deceased Parkinsons sufferers. In one of his recent findings using yeast, Dr Cooper and collaborators discovered a critical connection between these two genes. Yeasts are single-cell organisms that are widely used in biological research because their structure resembles that of cells found in animals and humans. PARK9 is found in yeast and alphasynuclein can be introduced to yeast, making it possible to analyse their function. He found that high levels of PARK9 in a cell significantly diminished the toxic effects of alpha-synuclein. PARK9 also appears to be a manganese pump capable in theory of removing excess levels of this metal from cells an important finding because manganese poisoning can also cause Parkinsons-like symptoms. This work showed for the first time the connection between three pieces of the Parkinsons disease jigsaw PARK9, alpha-synuclein and manganese. Drs James Daniel and Bryce Vissel in the Neuroscience program have been looking at Parkinsons disease from another perspective. Findings from their recent research have significantly advanced our understanding of dopamine release from nerve cells and may speed the development of more effective drugs for treating Parkinsons disease. The primary symptoms of Parkinsons (rigidity, tremor and impairment

of physical movement) are caused by the loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain. Medicines used for treating Parkinsons either provide extra dopamine or attach to the remaining nerve cells that release dopamine and regulate its release. In the latter case, no-one

process that takes place at the dopamine nerve cell synapse. Their findings may help work out how drugs currently being used to treat Parkinsons disease are regulating dopamine release. It will also open up new avenues for pharmaceutical development.


Neurons showing the localisation of scapinin (in blue), an important protein that regulates the outgrowth of neurites and helps establish connections between neurons so that they can exchange information.

understands the mechanisms involved, or how to control them. When an electrical impulse reaches the end of a dopamine nerve cell, called a synapse, it sometimes stimulates the release of dopamine yet more often it doesnt. Only about one in five impulses cause dopamine release, and the release rhythm is irregular. Drs Daniel and Vissel have developed a mathematical model and microscopy method that reveal the mechanisms behind synaptic dopamine release and the factors that govern the probability of release. Their work involved developing sophisticated statistical analysis protocols and mathematical models of synapses to help de-mystify the part of the

Further work in Dr Vissels lab has shown that nerve cells in the brain produce an anti-inflammatory molecule that allows the brain to repair itself, possibly changing the way we think about treating neurodegenerative diseases. Drs Vissel and Andrea Abdipranoto, seeking to understand what drives and blocks this regeneration, found high levels of a molecule known as Activin A released from nerve cells whenever regeneration occurred in the brains of mice. It seemed that nerve cells may directly drive regeneration by released Activin A. Further experiments showed that the main role of Activin A was to block inflammation in the brain after neurodegeneration or injury. While inflammation is the bodys way of protecting itself against



Neurodegenerative Disease

Beta secretase involved in Alzheimers disease.


Researchers believe that chronic inflammation is probably pro iding a harmful feedback loop, preventing regeneration and contributing to progressive decline
harmful irritants or damaged cells, these findings highlight that if left uncontrolled, inflammation can prevent regeneration and healing. It is likely that inflammation aggravates existing damage in the central nervous system of people with Parkinsons, Alzheimers and motor neurone disease. The researchers believe that chronic inflammation is probably providing a harmful feedback loop, preventing regeneration and contributing to progressive decline. If further research confirms that inflammation is blocking regeneration in these diseases, Activin A and derivatives need to be investigated as potential therapeutics. Work by Garvans Neurosignalling group led by Dr Adam Cole investigates the molecular mechanisms involved in synaptic plasticity, which deteriorates dramatically in neurodegenerative disease. By understanding how synaptic plasticity works in a healthy brain it may be possible to develop strategies to enhance brain function and specifically the ability to learn new things, retain and recall information. For sufferers of neurodegenerative diseases this understanding may help delay or prevent the onset of disease and possibly help compensate for the loss of brain function.

The Neurosignalling group is focused on 3 enzymes (Cdk5, GSK3 and PCTK2) known as kinases found in the brain, which are important for neurotransmission and regulation of synaptic plasticity. The group is working to better understand why changes to their activity contribute to brain dysfunction during ageing and in dementias such as Alzheimers disease. In previous research, Dr Cole discovered a brain protein called CRMP2 that is excessively modified in the brains of Alzheimers disease patients. He found that this occurred early in the disease process and was specific for Alzheimers disease, giving it great promise as a diagnostic biomarker for early and specific detection of Alzheimers disease.

Dopaminergic neuron.

In recent work, he discovered a similar brain protein called -adducin that is also found in red blood cells. Since blood is more accessible for diagnostic purposes, this poses the exciting possibility that -adducin might serve as an early stage, blood-based biomarker for Alzheimers disease. If so, this would greatly assist in earlier diagnosis of Alzheimers disease, when patients are more receptive to drug therapy.




Leaders in medical device development

New South Wales (NSW) and its capital Sydney represent Australias largest economy and is a hub for medical device development.
NSW is home to a skilled workforce of clinicians, medical researchers and expert healthcare professionals working in a broad range of areas. Medical device companies in NSW, ranging from start-ups to international market leaders, are actively seeking to expand their networks of customers, distributors and partners. NSW organisations have strengths across the broad spectrum of medical device innovation including: clinical trials laboratory equipment diagnostics devices general hospital supplies surgical and imaging equipment biomedical devices and implants monitoring equipment electronic and scientific equipment drug delivery systems dental equipment.

The States research sector brings expertise in engineering, physics, mathematics, health and medical research critical technologies in device development. Industry and Investment NSW (I&I NSW) is the economic development agency of NSW. I&I NSW can facilitate doing business with NSW organisations by: Helping locate, identify and develop relationships with the right NSW supplier Providing insight on NSW research and development capabilities Facilitating introductions to NSW businesses.

Contact us on +61 2 9338 6771 or email

health-related software

Left and centre images courtesy of Cochlear



Contact: ARC Stakeholder Relations E-mail: Website:

Stem cells could be the answer

Cures for heart disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis could be found in our own bodies, according to a new Australian-based research team from the University of Melbourne Stem Cells Australia.
Cures for heart disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis could be found in our own bodies, according to a new Australian-based research team from the University of Melbourne Stem Cells Australia. Stem Cells Australia is a new initiative that will further build Australias capacity to conduct worldclass stem cell research, keeping Australian stem cell researchers at the forefront of this rapidly developing field. In November 2010, A$21 million in Australian Government funding was announced for the University of Melbourne team Stem Cells Australia, led by internationally renowned researcher Professor, Martin Pera. This high-calibre stem cell research team may just find the answers we need. Professor Sheil said Stem Cells Australia will be led by internationally renowned researcher Professor Martin Pera. Professor Pera began his career in Australia, but has recently been directing a major stem cell research centre at the University of Southern California in the United States. Together with his team, Professor Pera will not only conduct quality research, but create a public awareness unit that will educate the public and encourage public debate into the ethical, legal and public policy issues associated with stem cell science. It is important that we explore these issues and understand the views of all Australians. The work of Stem Cells Australia will be strengthened through national and international partnerships, including Monash University, the University of Queensland, the University of NSW, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Florey Neuroscience Institutes and the CSIRO. More information on the ARCs Special Research Initiative in Stem Cell Science is available on the Australian Research Councils website. cell.htm


Image credit: istockphoto

The Stem Cells Australia application showed innovative research ideas and strong leadership skills, both of which are necessary to give us

Stem cell science

...we need solutions to save lives, impro e quality of life, take pressure off hospitals and, in turn, ease the burden on our economy
Announcing the funding under the Australian Research Council (ARC) Special Research Initiative in Stem Cell Science, Australian Innovation Minister, Senator Kim Carr, and CEO of the Australian Research Council, Professor Margaret Sheil, said the investment could deliver significant breakthroughs in the area of biotechnology and save the lives of many people around the world. a greater understanding of stem cells and hopefully bring about some of the worlds best medical breakthroughs. Heart disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis are common medical problems and we need solutions to save lives, improve quality of life, take pressure off our hospitals and, in turn, ease the burden on our economy, Senator Carr said.



Synergies through imaging

Synergies through imaging

Physics and Biology Meet at The University of Western Sydney


The National Imaging Facility (NIF) was established in 2007, as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). NCRIS marks a new paradigm for the funding of major infrastructure in Australia, whereby the needs of the community were identified through a nationwide consultation process and access to facilities is based on merit, and must be opened to the wider scientific community. Imaging was identified as a component of the Characterisation Capability, along with the Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility, the Australian Synchrotron and the National Deuteration Facility. The Characterisation Council provides support and advice to all four subcapabilities, advising government on further requirements. It also provides a forum, whereby the four sub-capabilities share an ethos for complementary use of technologies, as well as to identify synergies to give a capability that is greater than the sum of its parts. The NIF has recently received a A$40.2m injection from the Education Investment Fund, as part of a $106m expansion program The NIF is strongly aligned, both in its strategic approach and specific objectives, with the recommendations for development of national research capabilities outlined in the 2006 and 2008 Strategic Roadmaps for Australian Research Infrastructure. Consequently, it is supported by the results of extensive consultation with the research community, funding providers, industry and government agencies at state, territory and federal level. The NIF

provides state-of-the-art imaging of animals, plants and materials for the Australian research community, providing a range of leading edge imaging instrumentation. An important component of the NCRIS vision is the provision of resources to the research community, with expert advice and assistance in the optimal use of imaging to the research community. LARIF, the Large Animal Research and Imaging Facility, provides a complete research environment, including operating theatres, animal husbandry and imaging, so that longitudinal experiments can be established and researchers have the confidence that the animals will be cared for, and the needs of the experiments delivered with professionalism. A major focus of the NIF is the development and validation of novel PET and MR biomarkers (drugs and imaging probes) and non-invasive imaging technologies that are used to improve our understanding of disease. It includes access to research cyclotrons, radiopharmaceutical development and molecular imaging, offering a one-stop shop, critical for short-lived isotopes such as C-11, but also the ability to ship tracers based on longer-lived isotopes to other facilities. A further focus is the complementary use of different imaging modalities, other live animal imaging equipment including bioluminescence, microCT, ultrasound and intravital microscopy. NIF has identified simultaneous imaging using different technologies as a key target, and will install the first preclinical MR-PET in Australia, and plans to be able install a human

MR-PET within the next few years. NIF also offers the internationally unique opportunity for extensive complementary pre-clinical and clinical imaging co-located with the Imaging and Therapy Beamline of the Australian Synchrotron. Many of the future developments in NIF will be driven by the need for translation from the preclinical animal research to human clinical research and ultimately, clinical medicine. The next phase will see 7T human MRI, and co-location of MRI with MEG. Biomarkers will be initially evaluated in small animals, and then proven in large animals at LARIF, resulting in a much smaller step in translation to human use. This type of research is greatly enhanced through the commitment of all nodes to collaboration and sharing of expertise. In addition to the instrumentation funded by the initiative, the NIF provides access to a federated bioinformatics capability. A key aim of NIF is to develop databases of normative data, to remove the need for duplication of effort and reduce the number of experiments required for research, with the resulting reduction in instrument time and number of animals used. NIF now extends to 12 institutions, including all Australian universities, with a significant research and education presence in imaging, together with several Medical Research Institutes, ANSTO and SA Pathology. As such, it serves as a springboard for national and international collaborations.



Contact: CQUniversity Australia Tel: +61 7 4930 9000 Website:

C Universitys leadership in research

CQUniversity Australia, identified in February 2011 as world-class by Australias Excellence in Research report for its Engineering, Medical & Health Sciences and Nursing research, is also one of Australias most engaged universities, writes Marc Barnbaum. Operating from a tropical region perhaps better known for healthy mining profits and healthy cattle, CQUniversity which services some 20,000 students is forging a research focus on human health in Central Queensland. these will suffer recurrent or chronic middle ear infections. The Capricornia Centre for Mucosal Immunology at CQUniversity, run by Professor Jennelle Kyd, is recognised internationally for its research on immunity and vaccines. Professor Kyd, collaborating with researchers in Australia, Europe and the USA, is working with major pharmaceutical companies on the research and development of patents to the clinical trials stage for a range of new therapies. She was also recently invited to be a Director on the Board of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. We currently treat respiratory infections with antibiotics, but we need to find better preventative therapies, otherwise well continue to see an increase in the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria, explains Professor Kyd, the Queensland Ambassador for the Tall Poppy Campaign, which recognises the achievements of Australian scientists. Vaccines offer the best strategy for long term prevention of infections. Colleague Dr Andrew Fenning is investigating the potential benefits of several natural products, such as resveratrol (an antioxidant/antiinflammatory found in red wine), THC (active compound in medicinal marijuana), goji berry extract and the plant-based sweetener stevia, on the cardiovascular system and the reduction of secondary complications associated with diabetes. The compounds, says Dr Fenning, appear to improve oxidative stress and inflammation translating to reduced cardiovascular complications in models of these diseases. With funding from a National Heart Foundation scholarship program, Dr Fenning hopes to understand how the products can lower blood pressure and improve heart and blood vessel function, particularly for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease. We are particularly interested to see if the treatments can prevent potentially fatal arrhythmias in heart disease patients and improve blood vessel function compared to standard pharmacological therapy, Dr Fenning says. In collaboration with Dr Mitch Duncan, the team is also examining the effects of air pollution and obesity-inducing diets on parameters of cardiovascular disease, and whether exercise interventions can mitigate typical pathological cardiovascular responses.

Leadership in Research


Some of its leading scientists are contributing to the worldwide fight against respiratory infections, particularly middle ear infection, which has had terrible consequences for Aboriginal communities as well as the wider population. Up to 80 per cent of Australian children have at least one episode of middle ear infection in their first three years and about one third of

Researchers at the Centre for Mucosal Immunology, CQUniversity - Professor Jennelle Kyd, Dr Ajay Krishnamurthy, Jenifer Alsemgeest, Maree Stocks, Dr John McGrath and Melissa Harling.



Leadership in Research

Some of these findings have been translated into human trials examining the outcomes of cardiac rehabilitation programs and workplace activity levels on improving markers of chronic cardiovascular disease. For the past few years, Dr Duncan has been researching the physical activity levels of various groups of people. In 2009, he developed an innovative way of surveying these groups. Rather than relying on people completing written surveys, Dr Duncan is using GPS monitors that show exactly where people have travelled over a given period. Matched with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) maps, he can now gauge whether people have encountered obstacles or disincentives to activity. With surveys people are not always as accurate as they should be and that limits our ability to see how environments influence activity. Dr Duncan a 2010 Queensland Young Tall Poppy Science Award winner now hopes to develop the concept further with a smaller, integrated monitor that could not only measure the paths people take, but also the intensity of the activity. His research centres on the effects of too little physical activity and too much sitting; the influence that community designs and workplace environments have on these behaviours; and how best to measure our behaviour in these environments. Dr Duncan and his colleagues have secured a $896,000 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant for Project WALK 2.0, which investigates the internal and external validity of the latest web applications in promoting physical activity.


Dr Kerry Reid-Searl has become known as the masked educator, using roleplay to enhance the learning experience of her students.
CQUniversitys leadership in these areas also extends to its world-class education of medical health sciences. Senior Lecturer Dr Kerry Reid-Searl has become known internationally as the masked educator. The nurse educator uses roleplay to enhance the learning experience of her students and recently she introduced a wig, glasses and a fat suit so students could have a character to interact with. This is how the eccentric character patient known as Iva Sore was born. Iva soon made her way out of the lecture room and made several surprise appearances at medical conferences. It worked well, but there was still a power imbalance because students could still detect the lecturer under the costume, Dr Reid-Searl says. We tried solid masks, but it was not until we found an American company that could make us realistic flexible silicone masks that the idea really took off. Dr Reid-Searl says students have really engaged well with her new characters, epitomised by retired butcher Cyril Smith and former nurse matron Murial Mona Moore. Dr Reid-Searl says the American company has now been approached to make a whole range of authenticlooking wounds and body parts, including breasts, abdomens, genitalia and even colostomies. These resources will be a part of what Dr Reid-Searl is creating as MASK-ED (KRS simulation), which has been recently trademarked. MASK-ED simply means masking of the educator and masking of the educational process, while KRS stands for knowledgeable, realistic and spontaneous simulation. CQUniversity is also in the final stages of establishing an agreement with the company so that silicone props made for MASK-ED will be exclusive. The University will then market MASKEDTM (KRS simulation) props and educational resources. Dr Reid-Searl believes that while the props hide the face of the educator, the skill is in knowing how to use this technique. Hence it is fundamental that the educator is prepared with the educational resources that Dr Reid-Searl has created.



Contact: Peter Macs Communications Tel: +61 3 9656 5883 E-mail: Website:

Cohorts to cures
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia is a leader in the development of genomic technologies and their application to human cancers.
Working with colleagues from across Australia and around the world, Peter Mac has developed some of the most valuable patient cancer cohorts involving thousands of individuals that serve as foundation resources for understanding the biology of human cancers and the determinants of patient outcomes. Peter Mac leads national collaborative studies such as the Kathleen Cuningham Foundation Consortium for Research into Familial Breast Cancer (kConFab), the Australian Ovarian Cancer Study and the International Sarcoma Kindred Study. Peter Mac has also become a centre of excellence for genomic technologies, pioneering the use of microarrays and more recently the application of secondgeneration DNA sequencing to the cancer cohorts. Laboratory-based research findings are translated rapidly to clinical practice through Peter Macs Familial Cancer Centre and Molecular Pathology Unit.


The Australian Ovarian Cancer Study (AOCS) was established in 2001 with a program grant by the US Department of Defense. Over 2500 women with ovarian cancer were recruited to the study and

risk of developing sarcoma. Early detection by identifying those at risk may lead to better prognosis. The ISKS project will enable continual provision of important practical information for clinicians and patients.

Genomic technologies


Colin House and Dr Andreas Moeller lead a team in Peter Macs Cancer Genetics and Genomics laboratory studying breast cancer progression and its spread to distant organs.

kConFab is a national multidisciplinary consortium committed to understanding the causes and consequences of familial predisposition to breast cancer and other malignancies. kConFab has so far enrolled over 1300 multicase kindred groups and through its support of research projects has contributed to over 100 papers, including the identification of new breast cancer susceptibility genes and defining the impact of BRCA mutations on the risk of prostate and other cancers.

detailed clinical information and bio-specimens collected, creating one of the largest ovarian cancer cohort studies in the world. AOCS researchers have made significant contributions to understanding the environmental and genetic risk and molecular changes in invasive tumours. Peter Mac established an innovative program and clinical service in human cancer genetics.


The Familial Cancer Centre (FCC) provides cancer risk assessment, genetic counselling and genetic testing, medical advice and management, plus psychological support to individuals and family concerned about hereditary cancer syndromes. FCC has pioneered the integration of genetic assessment with risk management in diseases such as breast, ovarian and colorectal cancer. Peter Macs highly-specialised expertise in cancer cohort studies allows their clinicians and scientists to lead the search for answers to critical research questions, resulting in improved clinical outcomes. Together, these national and international collaborative cohort studies are a formidable research resource


Sarcomas disproportionately contribute to the communitys cancer burden they affect the young, treatment is costly and prolonged, and morbidity and mortality are high. The Rainbows for Kate International Sarcoma Kindred Study (ISKS) is creating a vital research resource to enable further study into the hereditary



Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is Australias only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer and one of an elite group of hospitals worldwide to have its own integrated cancer research program and laboratories.
In the words of Sir Peter MacCallum, Nothing but the best is good enough for the treatment of cancer. This sense of purpose and commitment to making life better for people with cancer continues at Peter Mac. Through a continued commitment to excellence, innovation and compassion, Peter Macs mission is to minimise the impact of cancer on its patients and the community. With over 2000 staff at six sites across Victoria, our clinical services include haematology, medical, surgical and radiation oncology, radiation therapy, same-day chemotherapy, clinical trials, familial cancer, allied health, and a comprehensive range of general and specialist diagnostic, interventional and therapeutic cancer imaging services. Our multi-disciplinary teams, which are organised into 11 tumour streams, specialise in a tumour type and develop comprehensive and coordinated treatment plans, ensuring our patients get treatment and a team tailored to their individual needs. We strongly believe that treatment informed by research, and research informed by treatment, is the key to advancing cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. With researchers and clinicians working side-by-side, Peter Mac has made significant contributions to basic research, translational research and clinical trials. Peter Mac is the largest cancer research site in Australia. Our research program encompasses 27 laboratories and over 520 scientists, clinician researchers, research nurses and other health professionals involved in various aspects of cancer research. It attracts students and researchers from around the world. We are heavily involved in planning for our new home as part of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Project. Due for completion in 2015, Peter Mac will share this $1 billion facility, to be purpose-built for cancer, with the Parkville branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and parts of The Royal Melbourne Hospital and The University of Melbourne. Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre the best in cancer care, accelerating discovery, translating to cures. To find out more about Peter Mac, visit or call +61 3 9656 5883. Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, St Andrews Place, East Melbourne Victoria Australia.
Pictured: Registered Nurse Laura Pyszkowski and Research Nurse Carrie Donohoe with a patient in the Chemotherapy Day Unit. Peter Mac runs a large clinical research program including trials of cancer therapeutics extending from first in man phase I trials to definitive phase III trials. Joint appointments between the divisions of Cancer Medicine and Cancer Research help facilitate early drug development research, while close cooperation with the Translational Research Laboratory permits bench to bedside research, and opportunities to return to the lab to explore observations made in the clinic. INNOVATION IN HEALTHCARE & MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES 27

Realities vs innovation e-health in Australia

In Australia, e-health is essential to addressing the healthcare gap between those in the cities and those in the vast rural areas, writes Hassan Ahmad.
Australias National E-Health Strategy, commissioned by the Australian Government in 2008, suggests that e-health is the means of ensuring that the right health information is provided to the right person at the right place and time in a secure, electronic form for the purpose of optimising the quality and efficiency of health care delivery. In 2011, as Australia continues to grapple with the challenges presented by its relatively recent decision to adopt a nationwide e-health system, pressure is placed on public and private sectors to deliver safe, efficient and cost-effective solutions to meet mounting demands. The emergence of innovative technology and healthcare services that follows is a timely and valuable consequence that should not be overlooked, nor undervalued. E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA). NEHTA was established in 2005 in response to a commissioned report concluding that the formation of such a national body was crucial if Australia was to move from an archipelago of segregated islands of information and IT systems, toward a healthcare system that utilised e-health strategies to create safer and more sustainable health system equipped to respond to emerging health sector cost and demand pressures. It has been quoted that the shift to e-health will reduce annual healthcare costs by up to A$5 billion, increase real GDP by $8 billion annually within 10 years, and save 1500 lives each year. The reality of such an undertaking in developing an e-health strategy able to be successfully adopted by all stakeholders from patient leaps in healthcare delivery, there has been no smooth transition to a strategic national e-health system. Fortunately, various countries around the world have implemented national e-health programs prior to Australia, providing valuable opportunities to learn from past mistakes and successes. The UK, Canada, Denmark and Norway have previously recognised the importance of investment in IT systems and infrastructure as an integral part of a modern and optimally functional healthcare system. Over the past two decades, at various levels these countries have embarked on developing strategic e-health work programs with components such as electronic health records (ERH), expansive broadband connectivity, national email systems and provider directories, telemedicine and e-prescribing being a recurring focus. NEHTAs recent national rollout of ERH in the form of the Health Identifiers Service in 2010 signifies progress down the road toward the ever important tipping point, whereupon it is hoped a critical mass of infrastructure and implementation is reached that allows for a self sustaining, snowballing uptake across the entire sector. The Australian Government has quickly discovered that in practice there are a myriad of difficulties as the propagation of change and innovation merges with stakeholder engagement. Historical barriers (both overseas and in Australia) and current challenges in Australia to the progression of strategic e-health adoption include:

e-health in Australia

Illustration: NEHTA

The event foretelling the Australian Governments commitment to modernizing its current health information landscape was the establishment of the National

through to healthcare manager has proven to be less straightforward. Despite the existence of economic stimulation and political impetus for innovation and the subsequent



e-health in Australia

justification of e-health spending to political and financial decision-makers over more tangible resources with more acute outcomes; lack of continuity across political leaders and key players at all levels of politics; difficulty in leveraging disparate e-Health currently in place around Australia; shortage of IT skills and specialisation; immaturity of health IT infrastructure and systems, due primarily to lack of prior investment; and difficulties providing infrastructure and broadband access to Australias extensive geography.

million rural Australians spread over a 7.5 million square kilometres, and it is expected to take a $35 billion national broadband network to provide such service to these areas. Such innovations taking place within the healthcare system are not isolated to a rural context, they are occurring across the entire landscape of health reform, resulting in the formation of The Australian E-Health Research Centre (AESHRC), a joint venture between the state government of Queensland and Australias national science agency, CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation). Since its conception in 2003, the AEHRC has developed multiple technologies and solutions as part of the e-health revolution across a wide range of areas, including tools for medical training and skills development, clinical terminology mapping, surveillance database composition, medical imaging technologies relating to Alzheimers and prostate radiotherapy, clinical support and prediction tools, and mobile computing platforms. In rural areas, the Virtual Critical Care Unit (ViCCU) is showing great potential in solving the dilemmas of healthcare inaccessibility by allowing a real-time telepresence

link enabling a specialist team in one hospital to supervise a team treating a critically ill patient in another. RIDES, the Remote Immersive Diagnostic Examination System, is another technology to come from AEHRC that allows specialist surgeons to examine patients in a remote location comprehensively and realistically. ECHONET, (EchoCardiographic Healthcare Online Networking Expertise in Tasmania), enables cardiologists to attend to ICU patients in rural Tasmania. It is situations such as these currently unfolding within the Australian healthcare sector that provide great potential for innovation, technology, and advancement in our capabilities and potential to deliver healthcare. We must keep a watchful eye fixed here and on similar situations globally if we are to successfully identify, nurture and develop further solutions to an increasingly demanding healthcare sector, and ultimately allow us to deliver more efficient, safer, and more effective healthcare to patients around the world. Hassan Ahmad is a co-founder of the Australian Medical Student Journal.

In the context of rural health, these obstacles stand paradoxically against the substantial potential a proper e-health system has to bridge the healthcare gap experienced in more remote areas. These rural and remote areas arguably have the most to gain from this commitment to a modern and efficient 21st century healthcare system that will help raise the standard of healthcare service and accessibility to that of urban areas. However, the government is currently facing the stark realities of delivering these solutions to the six



Contact: Professor Glenn Bowes , Associate Dean (External Relations), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences E-mail: Website:

Precincts and innovation: the Melbourne Experience

Precincts are now acknowledged as central elements in the strategic research plans for health and medical research institutions around the globe, often supported by major policy initiatives of governments and funding agencies. While increasingly mentioned in such planning processes, the definition of a precinct in this context is variable across settings and jurisdictions. Still, key criteria usually include geographical co-location of facilities, critical mass of physical and intellectual capital, world-class researchers, platform technologies, linkages to hospitals/ healthcare services and teaching and training organisations. Universities are centrally placed within the precinct concept. For over a century, The Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne and its affiliated partners have been engaged in the development of health and medical research precincts, most particularly in Parkville where the main university campus is situated at the northern edge of Melbournes central business district. Major tertiary hospitals of world renown are clustered within this historical precinct, including the Royal Melbourne, Royal Childrens and Royal Womens Hospitals. Some of Australias pre-eminent medical research institutes have been established within the precinct, including the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Florey Neurosciences Institutes and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. As this aggregation of institutions flourished and grew during the last decades of the 20th century, so too did the precincts reputation for the generation of new knowledge and the transfer of that knowledge into practice and policy - a process we recognise as translational research. In a similar vein, new practices emerged that underpinned the now much-lauded interdisciplinary approaches to research. Clinicians and scientists moved freely across service delivery, teaching and research settings and major research leaders such as Nobel Laureate Sir Macfarlane Burnet, Donald Metcalfe, Sir Gustav Nossal, Derek Denton and David Danks laid a foundation and framework for research excellence, connectivity and scholarship that has attracted generations of medical researchers. This tradition is now being enhanced by the explicit articulation and pursuit of a precinct strategy by the University of Melbourne and its partner institutions, supported by investments of almost unprecedented size in Australia by state and federal governments, core institutional funds and philanthropy. This has led to the construction of substantial new health and medical research infrastructure in Parkville. Funds in excess of $A3 billion have been put towards the building of a new Royal Childrens Hospital, including the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and University Academic Centre; the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, accommodating the relocation of the Peter McCallum Cancer Institute; the Melbourne Brain Centre, which will incorporate the co-location of the Florey Neurosciences Institutes, the

Precincts and innovation


University of Melbournes Nossal Institute for Global Health PhD student, Sant-Rayn Pasricha, works with Melbournes leading clinical and research institutions to address iron deficiency in women and children throughout developing countries, such as India and Vietnam. Dr Pasricha is the recipient of one of six 2010 Victoria Fellowships from the Victorian Government, which is awarded to emerging leaders in engineering, science and technology. The fellowship will allow Sant-Rayn to work with the World Health Organisation in Geneva where he will be involved in shaping global anaemia policy. Through his experiences at the University of Melbourne, Sant-Rayn is able to translate his extensive research into developing global policies that have the potential to save millions of lives worldwide.



Precincts and innovation


Mental Health Research Institute and the Universitys Melbourne Brain Institute; major expansion of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the University of Melbournes Bio21 Institute; and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, named in honour of the Nobel Laureate currently working within the faculty. The City of Melbourne is championing major transport and urban design projects within Parkville, which will add to Melbournes global reputation as a liveable city. These projects are creating new and exciting opportunities for the precincts amenities and connectivity. Commercialisation developments are also occurring, including Recaldent and the Bionic Eye project. Recaldent and emerging gingival vaccines have been developed by Professor Eric Reynolds group in the Melbourne Dental School. Recaldent is a milkbased bioactive food ingredient used to re-mineralise teeth and bones that is now added to chewing gum and toothpaste, generating significant health and commercial outcomes. Australia has been a world leader in medical bionics and now the University of Melbourne is part of the Bionic Vision Australia Consortium developing an advanced bionic eye that will

provide users with increased mobility and independence and potentially offer facial recognition and the ability to read large print. The co-location of both government research agencies (CSIRO) and major researchfocused corporations (CSL and IBM) are further extending such opportunities. Progress to date in this next phase of development of the historical Parkville health and medical research precinct has been extremely positive. The University of Melbourne is the number one university in Australia (36th in the world) and Australias top university in clinical, preclinical and health (18th in the world) and life sciences (32nd) according to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010. In the field of clinical medicine and pharmacology, the Shanghai Jiao Tong ranks the University of Melbourne first in Australia (41st in the world). In the recent Excellence in Research for Australia assessment by the federal government, the University of Melbourne achieved the maximum rating of five (well above world standard) in 42 fields, including Biomedical and Clinical Science. There is increasing success across all Parkville precinct institutions in attracting competitive national

and international research funds. The recruitment of world-class research leaders and outstanding doctoral and postdoctoral students is ensuring that growth in physical capital is matched by a parallel growth in the numbers of research scholars and students to drive creativity and innovation. There is a sense of optimism towards health precincts and they currently enjoy policy support from governments. However, the future of precincts in Melbourne and many other countries is not set in stone, although early signs show that they deliver amazing outcomes. As we learn more about what are the critical success factors of such precincts we will need to move rapidly to promote those elements and to be vigilant as to the barriers to progress that may emerge. Governance structures are likely to be crucially important to ensure that the creativity and leadership is not stifled by bureaucratic structures and that institutional silos do not emerge. Universities, by the very nature of their mission, are well placed to exercise the influence and leadership that facilitates connectivity and provide the glue for the precinct. Professor James A. Angus, AO, FAA, Dean and Professor Glenn Bowes, Associate Dean,Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne



Contact: Heather Cavanagh, Associate Dean Faculty of Science, CHARLES STURT UNIVERSITY Tel: +61 2 6933 2726 E-mail: Website:

Equipping tomorrows healthcare professionals

Charles Sturt University (CSU) graduates walk away with more than just cutting-edge knowledge and extensive industry experience. They enter the workforce as global citizens ready to make a real difference in the world.
Charles Sturt University courses in allied health and health and medical sciences equip graduates to work across a broad spectrum of careers in national and international settings. regional areas across the nation and the world. CSU consistently ranks highly for graduate employment in the Good Universities Guide. A recent survey conducted by the Graduate Careers Council of Australia found that 83 per cent of CSU graduates were in full-time employment at the end of their studies. forensic biotechnology, clinical science, asthma education, clinical physiology, respiratory science, pre-hospital care, health services management and complementary medicine. The courses in the School are characterised by hands-on learning and a commitment to rural health. Its graduates are highly regarded by industry, regularly gaining employment before graduation, and receive prestigious industry awards, such as the Australian Pharmaceutical Society Student of the Year. Staff at the School are committed to research and work with community agencies and health centres to help solve issues affecting the health and wellbeing of people all over the world. In 2010, the School of Biomedical Sciences was successful in securing significant amounts or research funding from various national and international sources and staff published research results in many international peer reviewed journals. Many successful, long-lasting research collaborations have been formed between staff of the School of Biomedical Sciences and world-class research institutions in Australia and the rest of the world. For example, Professor Lexin Wang, leader of CSUs CardioVascular Group and lecturer in


Healthcare education

CSU is a leader of work-integrated learning, with a comprehensive suite of courses in areas such as pharmacy, nursing, medical imaging, forensic biotechnology, podiatry, medical science and physiotherapy. CSUs health and medical science course structures ensure theory is interspersed with clinical rotations, cooperative education and industry attachments. According to Head of CSUs School of Community Health, Associate Professor Julia Coyle, working in small professional groups is an emergent practice in Australia and internationally. As healthcare services become more integrated, CSU continues to embrace interdisciplinary collaboration as a standard way to work and teach, she says. With close industry ties and regular reviews by accrediting bodies, CSUs courses ensure its graduates are always in demand. Through patient care, research, and community service, students and staff play a major role in helping improve the health of people in

CSU medical radiation science degrees cover a range of specialist areas.


The School of Biomedical Sciences at Charles Sturt University is a well established, multi-campus school. It offers accredited undergraduate and postgraduate courses by distance education as well as on campus in pharmacy, medical science, food and nutrition, biotechnology,



Healthcare education

Clinical Pharmacology, has set up an important collaboration with colleagues at Liaocheng Peoples Hospital in Shandong Province and Guangzhou Red Cross Hospital in Guangdong Province to develop innovative keyhole surgery techniques in children and newborns suffering from congenital heart defects. His work has led to significant reductions in child mortality and surgery recovery times. Currently CSUs School of Biomedical Sciences is involved in offshore teaching programs in, Hong Kong (Master of Pathology) and Ireland (Postgraduate Certificate in Emergency Medical Services Leadership and Management). The School has also launched its Bachelor of Science (Forensic Biotechnology) program at CSU in Ontario, Canada this year. These new international initiatives show the commitment of the School of Biomedical Sciences to the internationalisation of its courses and are supported by Charles Sturt Universitys reputation and experience as a world leader in distance education. The School of Biomedical Sciences invites everyone who is interested in study or research collaboration to visit its website. biomed

CSU offers Speech Pathology courses internationally through distance education.

the late 1990s/2000. Graduates from all courses are highly regarded by industry, and regularly gain employment before graduation. Many have gone on to be leaders in their chosen profession. Research and higher degree studies are a focus in the school. The research focus of the medical radiations and physic staff are broad and include; CR/DR, CT, MRI, ultrasound, molecular imaging, SPECT/CT, PET/CT, herbal medicine, and radiation therapy; medical and radiation physics. Successful research collaborations have been made both locally and internationally with various universities and clinical institutions. These collaborations have allowed the research to have impact both in clinical and the more fundamental sciences. Higher degree studies are all offered by distance education. CSU has a strong history in delivering quality courses, both undergraduate and postgraduate, by distance education. While CSU is a regional/ rural university with a strong focus in such areas, the medical radiation science degrees are also designed for students to meet all levels of professional challenges and for student to lead their profession into the future. The postgraduate courses offered in Medical Radiation Sciences include: Master of Medical Radiation Science general and with specialisations in Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Radiographic Interpretation and Nuclear Medicine; Master of Medical Ultrasound; Doctor of Health Science (a professional Doctorate) and Doctor of Philosophy.

The School of Dentistry and Health Sciences invites everyone who is interested in study or research collaboration to visit its website. dentistry-health



CSUs School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses to over 2000 students. With CSUs flexible learning a key strength, many courses are offered by online supported distance education, on-campus or a combination of both. These courses include the Bachelor of Nursing and conversion degrees for Australian and International nurses, postgraduate courses in midwifery, mental health, chronic care nursing as well as Masters and PhD programs. The school holds affiliation agreements with a number of other education providers, both in Australia and internationally. Since its inception, students of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health have featured regularly as University Medallists because of their meritorious academic performance. The school is leading the way in nursing, midwifery and indigenous health research for inland Australia, contributing important up-to-date knowledge to the nursing profession through its relationship and presentations and through regular publications.


The School of Dentistry and Health Sciences at CSU has well established courses in medical imaging/diagnostic radiography; nuclear medicine and ultrasound. Medical imaging/diagnostic radiography has been offered since the 1980s, with nuclear medicine and ultrasound commencing in



The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health offers full-time and part-time research degrees at Master and Doctoral levels, which are supervised by highly regarded and well published nursing scholars experienced in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health invites everyone who is interested in study or research collaboration to visit its website. nurse



Charles Sturt University is Australias leading provider of distance education. Every year, more than 20,000 students around the world study undergraduate and postgraduate courses or single subjects through CSUs world-class distance education program.

The flexible delivery of distance education means that students can study in their home country at a time that suits them. CSU provides an excellent range of support tools for distance education students. CSU Interact is the virtual learning and teaching space where students and lecturers meet to build community, share knowledge and work together in an online scholarly environment. Its comprehensive communication system enables online forums, wikis, blogs, podcasts, access to library resources and assignment submission. Course material is designed with the distance education student in mind and aims to engage and promote active thinking and participation.

between the University and partners in industry, government and the community. Charles Sturt University is dedicated to maximising its research potential and is undertaking research in the health sciences in areas including; nuclear medicine, radiotherapy qualitative methods, rural nursing, workplace education, clinical decision making, chronic disease management, palliative and aged care, drug and alcohol, acute care, child and rural health. CSU has supervision capacity and experience in; nuclear cardiology, cardiovascular health, palliative care, cancer detection, cancer therapy, cancer survivorship, traditional Chinese medicine and western herbal medicine. For more examples, visit faculty-research/projects


The hallmark of Charles Sturt Universitys approach to research is to work with users to seek innovative solutions to real world challenges. CSUs success is a product of effective collaboration

Healthcare education

Matthew Haase, student from 2003-2005 Matthew Haase graduated from CSU with Distinction from the Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science (Nuclear Medicine). After several years experience, Matthew now heads a nuclear medicine facility which has had the recent addition of a state-of-the-art SPECT/CT system that includes capability for high quality SPECT, high quality diagnostic CT and fusion imaging between SPECT and CT. Senior Lecturer with the School of Dentistry and Health Sciences, Dr Janelle Wheat said, Matthew has had an exemplary career to date and now is back in regional Australia working in a management role in his chosen field. Dr Jason Steel, PhD student from 1999-2003 Dr Jason Steel graduated with a PhD from Charles Sturt University in 2004 after he finished his research work on development of a novel adenoviral-based gene vector for cancer gene therapy at the School of Biomedical Sciences. Dr Steel then went on to Maryland in the United States to work as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health, one of the foremost health research laboratories in the world. While working at NIH, Dr Steel won numerous research and travel prizes, and published his work on gene therapy for cancer in worldclass journals. Jennifer Azurin, Student in the Master of Health Services Management Talk about a drop in the water causing ripples in the ocean! says Jennifer. I am so grateful to the CSU academic staff for being the inspiration for a proposal I recently submitted to promote quality and a positive culture of continuous improvement across our healthcare organisation of over 5000 staff. I like to think this is a significant achievement for our small work unit, for the numbers it hopes to attract.



CSU flexible study options ...enhance your career, your way

With Charles Sturt University (CSU) you can study by distance education in the comfort and practicality of your own home or office, whilst gaining internationally recognised qualifications to enhance your career. CSU allows you to balance an online supported education around your work, your family and your lifestyle. CSU excels in applied research focusing on creating new knowledge and practice that informs the professions. We are dedicated to creating and fostering national and international alliances to ensure the best possible outcomes for our communities and the world. CSU offers a wide range of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including:
Aged Services Management Clinical Education Emergency Medical Services Leadership and Management Health Services Management Medical Science Medical Radiation Science Mental Health Nursing Midwifery Nursing Education and Management Respiratory Management Pharmacy
CRICOS 00005F (NSW), 01947G (VIC) and 02960B (ACT). JB F1459A

To find out more visit: or call +61 2 6338 6077


Contact: Anne Trimmer, Chief Executive Officer Medical Technology Association of Australia Tel: +61 2 9900 0650 E-mail: Website:

Moving forward with medical technology

In 2008-09 health expenditure in Australia was A$112.8 billion. In Australia more than two thirds of all health expenditure is associated with chronic disease management ($75 billion in 2008-09) and in 2006 chronic disease (including cancers) was responsible for over 80 per cent of the burden of disease and injury. are constantly improved based on feedback from medical practitioners and advances in other sciences relevant to medical technology. Small Australian firms often play the major role in research and development of new medical devices, with large firms providing organisational and capital assets that help ensure new products commercial success. billion, with $1.6 billion earned from exports of medical technology manufactured in Australia. Approximately 80 per cent of the medical technology products used in Australia are imported and nearly all of the products manufactured in Australia are exported.

The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) is the national association representing companies in the medical technology industry. MTAA aims to ensure the benefits of modern, innovative and reliable medical technology are delivered effectively to provide better health outcomes to the Australian community. MTAA represents manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and management of disease and disability. MTAA members distribute the vast majority of non-pharmaceutical products used in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and disability in Australia. Our member companies also play a vital role in providing healthcare professionals with essential education and training to ensure safe and effective use of medical technology. MTAA represents the medical technology industry by contributing to policy development on state and federal government level and by consulting with key organisations and decision-makers. We deliver training and education programs

Medical Technology


There has been a shift in chronic disease management from acute care in hospitals to home or residential care. By 2050 Australia will see the number of people aged 65-84 years double and the number of people aged over 85 quadruple. Current spending on aged care is expected to more than double by 2049-50.

The Australian medical technology industry includes a diversity of manufacturers and suppliers of medical technology, from emerging Australian companies to subsidiaries of global companies. The product range is equally diverse and includes disease screening technologies, therapies, equipment and supplies - everything from expensive, complex capital equipment (such as x-ray machines and MRI scanners) to simple items (such as bandages and syringes) and highly evolved technologies (such as implantable devices). The industry is also characterised by a high level of innovation, resulting in short life cycles for many products. Many medical devices The Australian market for medical technology is approximately two per cent of the global market. Because of its small size, this means that companies developing innovative technologies will always need to consider the potential return on investment in making a decision as to whether to bring a technology into Australia or invest in development of a new technology in Australia. Sales of medical technology in Australia in 2008-2009 were $7.4



Medical Technology


tailored to the specific needs of the industry and provide networking opportunities and platforms to share information with experts and peers. Ethical standards and compliance with applicable laws are critical to the medical technology industrys ability to continue its successful collaboration with healthcare professionals. MTAA has developed a Code of Practice facilitating ethical interactions between industry representatives and healthcare professionals.


Innovation is essential to the medical technology industry and this is reflected in the relatively high percentage spend on R&D. The industry works closely with doctors, nurses and patients to constantly refine and improve the technology, resulting in a short product life cycle, often as little as 18 months.

and deliver radio waves to kill tumours; point-of-care diagnostics that result from the fusion of genomics and information technology; release of a pre-determined quantity of a drug stored in a silicon chip in a patients body on receipt of a remote wireless signal sent via an electrical current; and


The medical technology industry has advanced significantly over the past 25 years and innovation has been central to this progression. Breakthroughs such as coronary stents, and implantable defibrillators have helped reduce the death rate from heart disease by 40 per cent since 1980. The introduction of technology such as minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in the 1990s has led to shorter procedure times, shorter hospital stays and faster patient recovery times. Abdominal surgery, for example, was revolutionised by the introduction of MIS. Previously, nearly every surgical operation on the abdomen required an incision large enough to accommodate both of the surgeons hands resulting in considerable trauma to the patient. Today the surgeon has the capability to visualise and conduct major surgical procedures without necessarily making an incision more than about 1cm or 2cm long. Australia has been at the forefront of innovation with technology such as the cochlear implant, in vitro fertilisation, antibiotic treatment of stomach ulcers, tissue cultures and transplants for burns.

In the next 10 years medical innovations will continue to transform the healthcare landscape. The miniaturisation of medical technologies will continue allowing even more minimally invasive and non-invasive procedures which will move care from hospitals to outpatient setting. Replacement organs and tissue engineering advances will provide new options for addressing serious conditions. Molecular and gene-based diagnostics will detect diseases such as cancer earlier in their progression, improving patient outcomes and lowering treatment costs. Medical technology of the future will include diverse and complex products such as: micro-sized nano-robots with tiny motors that roam the body

an extension of this chip technology to enable monitoring of patients at home for signs of heart attack and hypoglycaemia in order to release the appropriate drugs.

Health information technology innovations will allow critical medical data to be processed and transmitted rapidly, speeding up delivery of treatment and allowing information (such as internal defibrillators) to be monitored remotely by the surgeon via wireless connections. The vast potential that medical technologies represent will continue to transform patients lives well into the future.



Industry & Investment NSW Tel: +61 2 9338 6624 Fax: +61 2 9338 6890 E-mail: Website:

Medical device development in Sydney and New South Wales

New South Wales (NSW) represents Australias biggest and most dynamic economy and its capital, Sydney, is a leading centre for medical device development.
NSW research organisations and universities conduct cutting-edge science and medical research in a range of fields that support medical device innovation, including spinal cord injury and related neurological conditions, nanotechnology and nanobionics, and biotechnology. This leading research supports NSW companies to produce advanced enduser products, with strengths across a broad spectrum of medical device innovation, including laboratory equipment, diagnostics devices, general hospital supplies, surgical equipment, biomedical devices and implants, monitoring equipment, imaging equipment, drug delivery systems, health-related software and dental equipment. NSW is also an excellent location for clinical trials. In 2009-10, A$2.5 billion of medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and medicinal products were exported from NSW alone, with the state accounting for 71 per cent of Australias total medical equipment exports. The State is home to 78 per cent of multinational pharmaceutical companies in Australia, 45 per cent of Australias medical device companies and 27 per cent of core biotechnology companies. Each year, businesses in the pharmaceutical and medicinal product industry in Australia spend around A$400 million on research and development. From start-ups to international market leaders, medical device companies in NSW have international networks of customers, distributors and partners. The industry is underscored by a mature and skilled medical workforce of clinicians, medical researchers, engineers and expert healthcare professionals. KPMG reports that for biomedical R&D, Australia ranks second after Mexico as the most cost-effective location - ahead of the UK, USA and Germany in terms of labour, salaries, utilities and income tax. Over A$8.3 billion is spent in NSW on research and this is evident in the diverse research institutions, universities and leading-edge, high-tech companies, as well as the major international firms that call NSW home. Industry and Investment NSW (I&I NSW) is the economic development agency of NSW. I&I NSW can facilitate doing business with NSW companies by helping to locate, identify and develop relationships with the right NSW supplier, providing insight on NSW research and development capabilities and facilitating introductions to NSW businesses.

Medical device development



Sydney is Australias commercial and financial services capital and Australias platform for business engagement with Asia, Europe and the United States. The NSW economy is Australias largest and most diverse, and is larger than many national economies in the Asia Pacific including Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and New Zealand. NSW is renowned as Australias clever state and has world-class science and medical research and development in a number of fields including medical device development, as well as smart technologies, next generation communications, quantum computing, advanced robotics, solar energy and biotechnology.


The Sydney company DataDot Technology Australia has taken DataTraceDNA microtechnology, invented by Australian research organisation CSIRO, and applied it to pharmaceutical packaging, with an invisible barcode that can only be seen using the companys special portable digital reader.



Medical device development


The sensor sends data to a small matchbox-size transmitter (SIMpod) connected to a wireless network throughout the facility. The network communicates with a web-enabled central system housed within the aged care facility. The monitoring system has a sophisticated software program that uses a series of patented algorithms to analyse data from the sensor worn by each resident, so that it builds a profile of each individuals continence patterns over a 72-hour period so that a pattern can then be predicted allowing staff to develop a personalised care plan. SIM was launched in the Australian market in October 2009 and has rapidly gained support from the residential aged care sector, the community and health professionals.

DataTraceDNA microtechnology will combat the counterfeit medicines trade.

Dubbed The Authenticator, the product will soon be used by a European company to authenticate the entire production volume of one of its most successful drug products, challenging the multibillion dollar international trade in counterfeit medicines. This product helps manufacturers take control of their distribution channels, enforce supply contracts, minimise illegal warranty claims, and support customs and law enforcement efforts to stop pharmaceutical counterfeiting.

AIMEDICS has developed the HypoMon, a breakthrough noninvasive sleep monitor and alarm for hypoglycaemia in people with Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes. The Hypomon uses a belt containing a smart electronic sensor and transmitter worn comfortably around a persons chest as they sleep. The belt non-invasively monitors physiological changes inside the wearers body through a range of complex measurements including electrocardiograph (ECG), movement and pre-sleep blood glucose level. If the device detects hypoglycaemia occurring, the system sets off a separate alarm to wake the person or a carer allowing the condition to be promptly and safely treated. Consistent treatment of such events will support better short and long term health outcomes. The product is expected to be on the market this year.


A Sydney company AIMEDICS has developed a world first electronic device to give young people with diabetes a safe and more comfortable nights sleep.

SIM builds a profile of an individuals continence patterns.


Sydney-based healthcare solutions company Simavita has developed revolutionary medical technology to help the elderly and their carers better deal with the problem of incontinence, called SIM .
Hypomon detects hypoglycaemia during sleep to ensure a god nights rest.

In 2010 Simavita agreed to work with Denmarks Abena Group in a non-exclusive marketing and distribution agreement to rollout SIM across Europe. Apart from improving the quality of life for aged care residents and their carers, SIM can save up to 50 per cent of the cost of labour associated with manual continence assessments.

SIM continence assessment is activated by a patients urine.



Investing in the future of health.

Improving health and wellbeing is at the heart of what we do.

The University of Melbournes partnerships with leading medical research institutes, hospitals and health services continue to deliver solutions to the world's most challenging health issues. We have an extensive research network that includes over 2,000 researchers working at the forefront of basic and translational research in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and endocrinology, infectious diseases, neurosciences, public health and community health services. The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences files approximately 20 patent applications each year and the University produces more peer-reviewed papers and attracts more national peer-reviewed medical research funding than any other university in Australia. Unprecedented investment in infrastructure and research capacity will build on the University of Melbourne's reputation as one of the leading biomedical research precincts in the world. Over the next decade exciting joint ventures, including the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Centre, the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and the Melbourne Brain Centre at Partkville and the Austin, will lead the way in integrated research, education and patient care. Together, we are committed to developing solutions to global health challenges and making a significant contribution to global health knowledge. Learn more about our research at:

CRICOS: 00116K



Cancer imaging

Contact: Peter Macs Communications Tel: +61 3 9656 5883 E-mail: Website:

Peter Mac leading advances in cancer imaging

In 1996, when positron emission tomography (PET) was first introduced to the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, it was considered an experimental technique in oncology; now, it is a vital part of the diagnostic process in many cancers.
Peter Macs Centre for Cancer Imaging has established a national and international reputation as a PET provider at the forefront of innovations in the field. It has provided leadership in establishing the role of this modality in the clinic. Its reputation has been developed through a strong clinical and translational research program. Along with medical staff, technologists and enthusiastic clinical collaborators, Peter Macs Centre for Cancer Imaging has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers on PET. Many of these focused on the clinical impact and prognostic utility of FDG PET in important malignancies, including lung, oesophageal, colorectal, cervical and head and neck cancer, melanoma, sarcoma and lymphoma. Functional imaging has advanced rapidly and is now established in the clinical staging of certain patients and in the prediction of patient response and likely clinical outcome. Functional imaging allows clinicians to see metabolic responses in tumour deposits following treatment, often long before structural responses are apparent, and provides a window into tumour diversity within patient cohorts. Peter Mac was the first Australian site, and the fourth site in the world, to introduce PET/CT into routine clinical practice. This technique has revolutionised treatment selection, planning and therapeutic response assessment. A strong clinical and translational research program has been developed. Working with a talented team of basic and translational researchers and some of the leading clinical researchers around the world is incredibly exciting but when we can also see the benefits that patients are deriving from these advances, it makes it all worthwhile, says Professor Rod Hicks, Director of the Centre for Cancer Imaging. Human trials of novel PET tracers, developed as part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Biomedical Imaging Development, also exemplify the ongoing efforts to further advance the field of molecular imaging. Peter Macs PET program has influenced the management of lung cancer worldwide, with six papers cited in the American Society of Clinical Oncology lung cancer treatment guidelines. Peter Macs criteria for response assessment after chemoradiation in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have now been widely adopted by clinicians worldwide. Recent treatment results for Peter Mac chemoradiation patients with NSCLC show that the use of PET/CT for patient selection and treatment planning has led to survival that is among the best ever reported anywhere in the world. Peter Mac is Australias only public hospital solely dedicated to cancer treatment, research and education.


Scans of a patient on the crizotinib study. The scan shows a dramatic and early response in the extensive non small cell lung cancer tumour and distant metastatic disease.

Highlights of this research have included involvement in real-time assessment of new cancer therapies in phase I trials. Peter Mac is leading the analysis of PET imaging results for a worldwide trial using a molecular targeted agent for melanoma. The outcomes of this trial have attracted global media interest with Peter Mac images featuring in the New York Times, The Economist and La Recherche. Because of Peter Macs expertise in the use of PET for drug validation, new treatments for giant cell tumours of bone, lung cancer and other malignancies have been made available to Australian patients.



Contact: Device Technologies Pty Ltd Website:

A new paradigm for health care

Device Technologies Pty Ltd is an Australian-owned company that provides patient access to the best medical systems available worldwide and acts as a comprehensive gateway to the high technology sector of the healthcare system, writes May Wong.
The growing and ageing world population, in tandem with economic growth and urbanisation, is projected to raise demand for healthcare products and services. Medical technology allows for the earlier detection of diseases and provides more effective treatment options for patients and the healthcare system. The medical technology industry has advanced radically over the past two decades and innovation has been the crux to this progression. Globalisation is changing the dynamics in this industry. The availability of costeffective and high-quality medical care at international destinations is steering the trend towards medical tourism and Device Technologies have a targeted marketing strategy towards this movement. The Australian medical technology industry has an annual expenditure of A$7.4 billion (2008-2009) on aids and appliances, medical and surgical supplies (including surgically implanted prostheses and homograft items) and major medical equipment. However, the benefits of medical technology in Australia have in the past been poorly understood, insufficiently articulated and developed, and generally suffer from a perception of being an economic burden on the healthcare system. This has made Device Technologies role as an advocate for informed decisionmaking on pioneering products even more important. The medical devices market includes a particularly striking spectrum of constant technological innovation, including instruments, apparatuses, implements, implants, in vitro agents, or component parts or accessories that are used to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure diseases. This covers hundreds of different technologies and thousands of types of products. In such an environment, Device Technologies targets its focus towards electronics technology detection, diagnosis, and monitoring technologies; minimally invasive technologies; synthetic organs, tissues; and combination device/biological and device/drug technologies. and private healthcare institutions with advanced education, superior technical support and customer service as well as the latest clinical research data internationally available. Device Technologies innovative sales, marketing and support services are highly regarded and include dedicated specialist teams for clinical education and regulatory affairs. Due to this diversity of experience, Device Technologies is able to facilitate patient access to products that would otherwise not be available to them. Products are imported from the USA, Europe and Japan, as well as being sourced locally.

Specialty medical devices


Device Technologies Pty Ltd has become a national leader in supply of specialty medical and surgical devices to all Australian public and private healthcare pro iders
Since 1992, Device Technologies has been supplying medical equipment and consumables to hospitals and healthcare professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. Today, the company employs in excess of 200 people and operates sales offices in every Australian state, and in Auckland, New Zealand, and is the largest independent medical company in Australasia. The company provides medical and surgical staff of the public Device Technologies represents a vast diversity of independent global manufacturers that develop and launch innovative medical technologies. In addition to the launch of innovative technology, Device Technologies coordinates a number of clinical trials required to substantiate product claims and efficacy. Any introduction of new technology requires research, training, and procedural support



Specialty medical devices


both pre and post the sale. Device Technologies partnership with physicians, surgeons and clinical teams facilitates best practice through the education and support programmes that coincide with any product launch. These tangible benefits provide added value at no additional cost to the customer. Device Technologies adheres to a quality management system compliant with AS/NZS ISO 9001. The accreditation covers the administration, installation and servicing of such devices. It contains 900 ARTG (Australian register of therapeutic goods) inclusions for medical devices across 18 areas of specialty. These include anaesthesia and critical care, cardiac specialties, ophthalmology, optometry, orthopaedics and gynaecology. They are also involved in surgery such as plastic and reconstructive surgery, radio surgery and robotic surgery. They have a strategic partnership with Health Robotics, a global leading supplier of life-critical intravenous medication preparation, compounding, and dispensing robots. On an interventional level, Device Technologies sources materials for endoscopy, laparoscopy, and urology and vascular access. Its products can be divided into three main categories:

SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart

in the cardiology speciality, including echocardiography and haemodynamic monitoring.


New biosensor research is aimed to design systems that can detect chemical or physical changes with high accuracy. Nonin Medicals Onyx(r) II 9560 Bluetooth(r) wireless fingertip pulse oximeter was used by physicians at the scene of the Chilean rescue to capture the miners blood oxygenation and heart rate data in real time during and after each miners ascent to the surface. The device enabled physicians to detect immediate signs of physiological stress using wireless technology to transmit the data to a monitor on the surface.

SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart as a bridge to donor heart transplant for people dying from end-stage biventricular failure. The 50-year-old patient, who only had weeks to live prior to receiving the Total Artificial Heart, has since recovered his kidney and liver function. The following month, the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart was awarded the 2010 Kerrin Rennie Award for Excellence in Medical Technology by the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA). The Total Artificial Heart is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 L/min through both ventricles. Device Technologies is a national leader in the growth of the medical technology industry. Equipped with the expertise, skill and capabilities, the company has positioned itself to market and sell a range of high quality capital equipment and technologically innovative medical device consumables. As such, they offer innovative solutions to todays medical problems and help improve the overall quality of life for patients.


Research goals are to develop techniques that are reliable, faster, cheaper and more sensitive. Device Technologies offers diagnostic medical imaging technology Enabling materials include new types of synthetic and natural polymers, adhesives and tissues. On August 5, 2010, St. Vincents Hospital in Sydney, Australia performed its first implant of a



Contact: CL Plastics and Consultants Pty Ltd Tel: +61 3 9782 3033 Website:

The future of plastics in medical applications

The use of plastics has permeated to almost all products of our daily living, and most recently it has made exceptional inroads in the production of medical devices and applications. CL Plastics and Consultants Pty Ltd is a privately owned Australian company that specialises in plastics injection moulding and it is leading the way in production and innovation of plastics biomedical engineering in Australia, writes Ashraf Dower.
CL Plastics and Consultants Pty Ltd was established in 1993 and has gained a reputable position in the Australian market as a highquality company with exceptional customer service. Specialising in plastics injection moulding, the company makes products that utilise many different varieties of plastics. It is involved in the production of specialised products, or even components to a final product, where specific qualities, function, or structural capabilities are required. They offer services to assist in the many stages of development of a product, starting from the concept all the way through to the production, processing and logistical organisation of products. CL Plastics and Consultants Pty Ltd has an extensive array of assets for the testing, validation and manufacturing of products. It operate s10 injection moulding machines ranging from a 35-tonne manufacturing machine for small and intricate products, to a 360-tonne machine used to manufacture larger parts. It is able to test, validate and re-design products continually at every stage of the production to ensure an excellent product, all while a dedicated project manager is kept in contact with the client to ensure that the most effective solutions

Specialty medical devices


to the technical problems are utilised. Furthermore, CL Plastics and Consultants Pty Ltd is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, meaning that they are committed to international standards for the manufacturing industry. CL Plastics has become heavily involved in the field of biomedical engineering through an internal holding company called Biomedical. CL Plastics is involved in the production of a variety of medical products. These include high-volume disposables, such as syringes and blood bags, as well as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, nebulisers, blood glucose monitoring devices, artificial organs, biomechanical joints, heart valves, drug delivery

devices, digital signal processing hearing aids, contact lenses, in-vitro diagnostic devices and more. The growth of plastics use in medical applications has transformed the healthcare industry to become much more effective, sustainable and efficient. Plastics have a number of advantages over other materials used in medical applications such as metal, glass and ceramics. Plastics are a lot cheaper to produce than other materials, and have considerable advantages in terms of their sterilisation capabilities. Sterilisation capacity has quickly become the key characteristic of materials when deciding their use in various medical applications such as surgery. The injection moulding production of plastic products is much quicker, resulting in the fast



Specialty medical devices


turnover rates that are particularly desirable for the production of high volumes of medical disposables. Furthermore, plastics have significant advantages in that they have exceptional design flexibility, biocompatibility and capacity to form complex shapes depending on the production method. This along with the ability of plastic products to be tailor-made to meet certain requirements, has increased development in high-tech applications such as implantable pacemakers, artificial organs and biomechanical joints.

medical devices requires extensive experience and cross-functional expertise in fields of plastic production such as injection moulding, rotational moulding, thermoforming and extrusion. Furthermore, CL Plastics uses its expertise in the wide variety of other materials is also used for the manufacture of medical devices. These qualities are rarely found in a plastics production company as they are in CL Plastics. The private proprietors of CL Plastics and their consultants have a long and diversified experience in the plastics

solving capabilities of plastics engineers at the company to tackle medical problems and improve the overall quality of life of patients. Such collaboration can lead to innovative solutions to medical problems. CL Plastics also operates an ISO 8 clean room. This is a sterile room used to manufacture products with exceptionally reduced contamination of environmental pollutants. This has allowed CL Plastics to produce medical applications with maximal purity that can be used in sterile postoperations, such as in surgery. This is an important capability for a company involved in medical application production, as safety and quality assurance in the healthcare industry is an area which cannot be compromised. Infections during hospital stays and surgery occur frequently and often have fatal consequences. Thanks to these capabilities and the growing attractiveness of plastic use in medical applications, CL Plastics has become a national leader in the production and innovation of plastic medical applications. In the future, the company will be in a prime position to lead the growth of this industry, and it has the expertise, skill and capabilities to offer innovative solutions to todays medical problems and consequently play a significant role in improving overall patient quality of life.

Costs and time pressures in healthcare have seen plastics take over from other materials in the production of medical disposables. The worldwide demand for plastics in the production of medical disposables is expected to reach US$70 billion by the end of 2012. CL Plastics and consultants PTY has contributed to this worldwide growth. The growth of the plastics market in developing nations such as China and India is expected to continue at an enormous rate and the geographical position of Australia puts CL Plastics in a prime position to lead the way in the growing involvement of plastics in the healthcare industries. It is important to note that the design and production of plastic

industry and the company prides itself on the knowledge bank in their company. Bio-medical, a separate holding company within CL Plastics, offers professionals within the healthcare industry a consultation service to seek the expertise and problem-

CL Plastics offers an extensive range of medical-grade thermoplastics. Designed specifically for the medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, these are designed to replace existing solutions made of stainless steel, titanium, glass or ceramics. Thermoplastics reduce weight and are commonly more resistant to sterilisation methods, offer anti-static performance and resistance to high energy radiation. The thermal resistant properties of CL Plastics plastic injection products also give them resistance to hot weather conditions and deflection temperature qualities, while also having a recyclable quality and UV stabilisation properties.



Tel: +61 3 8541 5200 Website:

Leaders in cost-effective injectable pharmaceuticals

Hospira Australia offers a broad portfolio of speciality generic injectables to the AsiaPacific region and is now making inroads as a leading supplier to the Eastern and Central European market, writes Jason Lehr.
Intravenous therapy, the administration of drugs through venous access devices, has played a central role in the delivery of modern medical treatment, becoming a routine aspect of patient care in virtually every medical discipline. In 2007, Mayne Pharma was acquired by the American company Hospira, to operate as its AsiaPacific regional headquarters under the new name Hospira Australia. Hospira Australia is a speciality pharmaceutical and medical devices company that now holds a leading position in supplying hospital clients in the Asia-Pacific. As Mayne Pharma, the Melbournebased company has over 160 years of history in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing, with comprehensive expertise in the development and manufacture of chemotherapy drugs for the oncology market. Today, as Hospira Australia, the company has established inroads in more than 65 countries around the world and recently became the leading supplierof generic injectables to Eastern and Central Europe. The parent corporation, Hospira, is a world leader in specialty generic injectable pharmaceuticals, as well as having a broad range of medication delivery products and management systems to enhance the safety and quality of patient care. Hospiras guiding vision to reduce the overall global cost of healthcare is punctuated by their 70-year history of intravenous therapy development, resulting in the industrys broadest portfolio of approximately 200 generic injectable products used in acute-phase care, intensive care, and anaesthetics. Through the acquisition of Mayne Pharmas complementary product portfolio and geographical market share, Hospira holds the no. 1 one generic injectables market position in the world. Hospira Australias oncology presence and distribution networks has led to a doubling in Hospira Australias international sales, and an expansion of the companys infrastructure into Europe and the Asia Pacific. It is hoped that this continued partnership will further the platform for Hospiras vision of affordable healthcare through the provision of cost-effective alternatives to proprietary pharmaceuticals. broadest portfolio of speciality generic injectables with over 200 products in more than 600 dosages and formulations. Such products include many core medicines used in anaesthetics and acute-care, including cardiovascular drugs, antibiotic drugs, emergency drugs and diluents. This portfolio has recently expanded to include Mayne Pharmas line of cytotoxics for oncology use. Hospira Australias proprietary range is similarly developing, with the recent inclusion of Precedex (dexmedetomidine HCl), a selective alpha-2 agonist unique in its ability to provide sedation in a postoperative or intensive-care setting without the risk of significant respiratory depression. Alongside its pharmaceutical porfolio, Hospira Australia has invested in the development of medical management systems to assist in point-of-care medications delivery and monitoring. The LifeCare Plum and GemStar families of medication infusion systems are intravenous drug delivery devices intended for parenteral and epidural therapies, and the administration of whole blood and blood products. The LifeCare Plum family of infusion devices are general-purpose devices meeting institution needs in a variety of clinical settings. LifeCare Plum focuses on streamlining the drug delivery process with dosage




Hospira Australia offers a diverse range of generic injectable products, specialist hospital products, drug delivery systems, waste disposal systems and needleless administration equipment. Its products are used widely by hospitals, alternate site clinics, home healthcare providers, and long-term care facilities. A worldwide leader in the pharmaceutical field, Hospira Australia offers the industrys





calculation, programmable delivery schedules, delivery from multiple sources, and backpriming function for air elimination. This technologydriven, automated approach aims to improve productivity and clinical outcomes, while enhancing patient safety. The GemStar Infusion Systems consist of general infusion and pain management versions providing up to seven therapies including patient controlled analgesia (PCA). GemStar relies on being modular and flexible, offering customisable configurations to tailor treatment protocols for a range of clinical scenarios. Hospira Australia also provides speciality medical equipment such as the Receptal Waste Disposal System, a closed portable suction system to isolate surgical waste. Hospira Australias invasive monitoring systems consist of the Q2 Plus CCO/SO2 monitor, and the SAFESET family of vascular and cardiac catheters, and disposable pressure transducers. These allow

created to mimic versions of an innovator biopharmaceutical product after this innovator product expires its patent. Developing a biosimilar employs a more involved process than duplicating a generic pharmaceutical, as biopharmaceuticals consists of proteins or nucleic acids which contain structures of vastly greater complexity compared with traditional small-molecule pharmaceuticals.

haematological field, including its first launched biosimilar: Retacrit (epoetin zeta), a treatment for anaemia associated with chronic renal failure or those receiving chemotherapy. The introduction of Retacrit has helped reduce the cost of medications in its drug class by approximately 20 per cent in Europe, while improving patient access to this therapy. In 2009, Hospira built support for legislation in the United States to help create future pathways in biosimilar approval, thereby promoting further biomedical innovation. Most recently, Hospira Australia has launched Hospiras second biosimilar, Nivestim (filgrastim), indicated in the prevention of neutropaenia associated with cancer or those receiving cancer chemotherapy. Nivestim has also been authorised for the European market and it is the first biosimilar to receive Australian approval. Recent agreements with leading biopharmaceutical manufacturers have been made with the intention of making Hospira one of the industrys largest developers of biosimilars. With this promising new field of treatment technology, Hospira continues to innovate towards its philosophy of expanding global access to affordable lifesaving medicines.

Hospira has one of the industrys broadest portfolios, with approximately 200 generic injectable products used in acute-phase care, intensive care and anaesthetics
clinicians a direct method of assessing a patients haemodynamic profile the ability for the cardiovascular system to supply the body tissues by tracking real-time changes in blood pressure. The development of biosimilars consequently occurs through biotechnological manipulation to artificial proteins and the result is similar, but not identical, to the innovator product. For this reason, new biosimilars must submit to a rigorous testing and approval process. In the last two years, Hospira has been developing a number of biosimilars for use in the

Biosimilars, also known as follow-on biologics, are biopharmaceutical medicines



Head office (Melbourne) Tel: +61 3 9804 8887 Fax: +61 3 9804 8889 Email: Website: Sydney Tel: +61 2 9499 3011 Fax: +61 2 9499 3010 Email:

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their primary medical qualification in a country other than Australia. Doctors can apply for either a temporary or permanent visa. Doctors seeking permanent residency in Australia must hold full medical registration. Opportunities are also excellent for nurses, with permanent and temporary work available across all fields of nursing. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for a visa to work as a nurse. Australia offers the General Skilled Migration Program for those who are not sponsored by an employer and who have skills in particular occupations required in Australia. Applicants must be aged 18 to 45, have good English skills and recent skilled work experience. The most recent Skilled Occupations List shows 66 occupation types relating to the healthcare and medical fields, including medical and nursing administrators, general practitioners, nuclear medicine technologists, pathologists, dentists, audiologists and a wide range of specialist doctors.

Skilled migration


At Hamilton Watts we have expertise in the complete range of visa and migration options. We are as adept at working with multinational corporations as we are with individuals and their family members. We are also always excited to work with companies that are starting a new business or establishing an office in Australia. Our broad base of immigration experience allows us to carry out immigration solutions for all levels of an organisation. We can assist with employment-based visas


There is currently a shortage of doctors and nurses in Australia, particularly in regional areas. General practitioners or specialists can apply for a visa to work in Australia if they have obtained



Investing in the future of health.

Improving health and wellbeing is at the heart of what we do.

The University of Melbournes partnerships with leading medical research institutes, hospitals and health services continue to deliver solutions to the world's most challenging health issues. We have an extensive research network that includes over 2,000 researchers working at the forefront of basic and translational research in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and endocrinology, infectious diseases, neurosciences, public health and community health services. The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences files approximately 20 patent applications each year and the University produces more peer-reviewed papers and attracts more national peer-reviewed medical research funding than any other university in Australia. Unprecedented investment in infrastructure and research capacity will build on the University of Melbourne's reputation as one of the leading biomedical research precincts in the world. Over the next decade exciting joint ventures, including the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Centre, the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and the Melbourne Brain Centre at Partkville and the Austin, will lead the way in integrated research, education and patient care. Together, we are committed to developing solutions to global health challenges and making a significant contribution to global health knowledge. Learn more about our research at:

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