University's health and medical research review looks to the future

27 August 2012

A strategic review of health and medical research, announced by the University of Sydney today, aims to enhance collaboration, maximise benefit to the community and ensure the University maintains its leading position in the field.

"The Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence and I have initiated this review to ensure our recognised strength in health and medical research continues to be a major contributor to the national health and medical research agenda," said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Jill Trewhella.

"In the context of both the NSW government's recently completed review of health and medical research and the federal government's current review, this is an ideal time for the University to be making its own assessment to ensure our continuing leadership."

The review will create an organisational framework for the next 10 years to support all of the University's affiliates, including medical research institutes, metropolitan hospitals, rural health networks and the University's own health-related divisions. It recognises that close connections to the healthcare sector are essential for the University's research to have an impact in local and regional communities and beyond.

With a focus on optimising resources and strengthening research collaborations, the review will also consider how to foster innovation, including through industry partnerships.

"The outstanding quality of our health and medical research is demonstrated through our success in research grants, our high profile publications, our Excellence in Research for Australia results and the strong demand from higher degree research students," said Professor Bruce Robinson, Dean of the Sydney Medical School.

"The review will help position us so that this outstanding research can have the greatest impact on the health of our communities."

Reporting in early 2013 the review will be headed by Deputy Chairman of Research Australia, Peter Wills AC, as Review Committee Chairman.

Mr Wills is acclaimed for his work in the health sector, most notably as chair of Commonwealth and State strategic reviews of health and medical research.

He has also been chairman of the Garvan Institute and of the Australian Research Council, and has contributed to the development of the Commonwealth Innovation Statement and the National Biotechnology Strategy.

Peter Wills said, "I am privileged to have been invited to chair this very important review for the University of Sydney. I believe this could be a landmark study in leveraging the University's excellence in health and medical research amongst all its entities and affiliated medical research institutes, hospitals and local health districts."

Other members of the review committee will include Professor Jill Trewhella, Professor Michael Good AO (Griffith University), Professor Russell Lansbury AM (University of Sydney Business School), Professor Stephen Leeder AO (Western Sydney Local Health District, Menzies Centre for Health Policy), the Hon Ron Phillips (Sydney Local Health District), Professor Carol Pollock (Northern Sydney Local Health District, Kolling Institute and Northern Clinical School), Professor Kathryn Refshauge (Faculty of Health Sciences) and Professor Bruce Robinson AM (Sydney Medical School).

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