MEDIA RELEASE – Report on Australian COVID-19 Research

MEDIA RELEASE

Report on Australian COVID-19 Research: From vaccines to aircon filters

Since the coronavirus hit Australia’s shores, health and medical researchers have been rapidly redeployed in unprecedented numbers to support the national response.

Research Australia, the national peak body for health and medical research, has released the first report in its COVID-19 series showcasing the incredible breadth of Australia’s COVID-19 research.

“Australians are rightly proud of our world-leading vaccine projects. There’s incredible work being done beyond the lab too – everything from guidelines for breastfeeding mothers to filters that have the potential to remove the coronavirus from air conditioning systems,” said Research Australia CEO, Nadia Levin.

“The true range of COVID-19 medical research is not evident to the researchers themselves, let alone governments and the general public who are relying on our medical researchers to get us through this pandemic.

“In this report we look at over 200 research projects to demonstrate the depth and breadth of COVID-19 research underway in Australia right now,” Nadia Levin said.

The volume of coronavirus medical research is testament to long-term investment in Australia’s medical research capacity, but that it had come at a cost.

“The sudden ‘downing of tools’ that must happen when researchers are called upon to pivot their research towards an urgent pandemic throws existing projects, and their funding, off course. Like other parts of the economy, health and medical research is suffering.

“Research Australia is already talking to its members about how we re-design a medical research system which can withstand these crises because there is a very real possibility COVID-19 won’t be the only pandemic we see in our lifetime,” Nadia Levin said.

The full report is available here: COVID-19: How Australia’s health and medical research sector is responding

Media contact: Lucy Clynes, General Manager, Research Australia on 0404 068 912 or lucy.clynes@researchaustralia.org

OPINION PIECE – ‘Why not join the fight against COVID-19 instead of starting a new one?’

Research Australia Managing Director and CEO, Nadia Levin, presented Research Australia’s position on the COVIDSafe app to the Croakey readership.

Research Australia supports use of the COVIDSafe app. If properly utilised by the Government and Australians, the app will likely prove to be a highly effective tool against the spread of COVID-19.

Please click here to read the full article on Croakey.

The Role of Digital Technology in a Changing Health System

On Thursday 30 January 2020, Telstra Health and Research Australia co-hosted an event highlighting the vital role of digital technology in Australia’s changing health system. Research Australia members and Telstra Health partners from across the entire health and medical research pipeline convened to network and share their thoughts on this important subject over a drink to see in the new year.

Telstra Health’s Managing Director and Research Australia Board Director, Professor Mary Foley AM and Nadia Levin, Research Australia’s CEO and Managing Director, both spoke at the event sharing their views on the developing role of information technology in all aspects of health and health and medical research.

Professor Foley provided her insights on Telstra Health’s role supporting governments, health system managers, and healthcare providers to deliver high quality, equitable, and accessible care in an increasingly complex and specialised health system.

Nadia Levin highlighted the growing need for Australia’s health sector to utilise the many revolutionary benefits current and future digital information technologies can provide. Nadia gave examples from Research Australia’s members making ground-breaking progress in digital technology and later took a moment away from space medicine to focus on the patient, who is at the core of all health and medical research. Focusing on current health outcomes, Nadia acknowledged how something as simple as a digital sensor in an incontinence pad can positively impact a patient in aged care.

 

From left to right: Alex White, Telstra Health; Prof Mary Foley AM, Managing Director, Telstra Health; and Nadia Levin, CEO and Managing Director, Research

 

The evening included a Q&A session with an interactive audience wanting further discussion on the importance of addressing Australia’s health data privacy concerns.   The Frontiers Health and Medical Research funding initiative was also a hot topic of discussion with attendees highlighting the need for greater acknowledgement of the innovative and research-based nature of digital information technology.

 

From left to right: Professor Chris Cowell, Director of Research, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network; and Peter Wills AC, Deputy Chair of the Research Australia Board

 

 

From left to right: A/Prof Annette Schmiede, Director, Research Australia; and Dr Lana McClements, University of Technology Sydney

 

 

From left to right: Dr Henry Cutler Macquarie University Centre for Health Economy & Peter Wills AC Deputy Chair Research Australia

Australian Scientists to Develop a Vaccine for the Wuhan Coronavirus

Research Australia welcomes the news that one of our members, the University of Queensland, has been asked to develop a vaccine for the recent Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak. Through the use of new technologies, the University plans to develop the vaccine within an unprecedented timeframe of 6 months. If successfully discovered, the vaccine may be used as a primary strategy to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Click here to see the University of Queensland’s news article.

Doherty Institute first to share successfully grown Wuhan Coronavirus

Scientists from the University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital’s Doherty Institute are the first to share successfully grown Wuhan Coronavirus in a laboratory setting. As a member of Research Australia, we commend the University of Melbourne and the Doherty Institute for their important breakthrough that will play a key role in speeding up diagnosis and aid in the development of a vaccine.

Click here to view the Doherty Institute’s media release.