Academic Health Sciences at the University of Sydney
and Their Relevance to Translational Medicine in the
Asia-Pacific Region
Wednesday 3 November 2010
SYDNEY MEDICAL SCHOOL
Professor Bruce Robinson
Dean, Sydney Medical School
University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Summary of presentation
 Existing academic structures
 Strategic planning
 New initiatives
 Asia-Pacific linkages
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Existing Structures
Clinical schools, schools & departments of rural health
› Central clinical school: Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney Eye Hospital, Balmain
Hospital, Canterbury Hospital
› The Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School
› Westmead Clinical School at Westmead Hospital
› Concord Clinical School at Concord Hospital
› Nepean Clinical School at Nepean Hospital
› Northern Clinical School: Royal North Shore Hospital, Hornsby Hospital, Manly
Hospital, Mona Vale Hospital, Royal Rehabilitation Centre, Ryde Hospital
› Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health (Lismore, Grafton &
Murwillumbah)
› Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health
› School of Rural Health (Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst)
› School of Medical Sciences
› School of Public Health
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Existing Structures
Research institutes & centres
ANZAC Research Institute
Kids Research Institute
Brain and Mind Research Institute
Kolling Institute of Medical Research
Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and
Cardiovascular Disease
Menzies Centre for Health Policy
Centenary Institute of Cancer
Medicine and Cell Biology
Centre for Medical Psychology and
Evidence-Based Decision Making
Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in
Medicine
Children's Medical Research Institute
NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre
Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
Save Sight Institute
Westmead Millennium Institute of
Medical Research
Woolcock Institute of Medical
Research
George Institute for International
Health
Heart Research Institute
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Strategic Planning
Aim: Foster innovation and research translation across the spectrum of basic
science, clinical medicine and public health
Moving from discipline to disease based research
Sydney Medical School Strategic Plan 2010
› Establishment of priority research themes around areas of strength:
1) Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease
2) Cancer
3) Infectious disease and immunity
4) Neuroscience and mental health
5) Maternal and child health
6) Chronic disease and ageing
and support for areas of special significance eg rural and indigenous health
› Form strategic partnerships locally, nationally and internationally
5
University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Strategic Planning
Aim: To produce graduates who are, clear-thinking, clinically outstanding,
research capable, engaged and globally aware who have the capabilities to
become leaders in medicine, public health and research
Sydney Medical School Strategic Plan 2010
› Emphasis on evidence-based medicine
approaches
› Encourage and provide opportunities for students
to undertake research during their coursework
› Increase number of research scholarships
› Work with professional Colleges and other
organisations to develop programs that combine
research training and specialist training
› Exchange programs with overseas universities
and health organisations
6
University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
New Initiatives
Centre for Obesity, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease (CODCD)
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
New Initiatives
Centre for Obesity, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease (CODCD)
Aim: to improve human health by the prevention and control of obesity, diabetes
and cardio-vascular diseases.
This will be achieved by:
- doing world-class research in basic and clinical sciences, population health
and health systems
- translating this knowledge into practical solutions for chronic cardio-metabolic
diseases
- undertaking innovative, multi-disciplinary teaching programs
- partnering within and beyond the Centre
- inspiring the next generation of scientific and clinical researchers.
The CODCD program of research and education will be interdisciplinary,
involving staff and students from multiple faculties across the spectrum of
biomedical sciences, clinical sciences, population health and health policy.
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
New Initiatives
The Sydney Institute for Emerging Infections and Biosecurity (SEIB)
Aim: to reduce risks from, and global impacts of, emerging and re-emerging
infectious diseases, especially in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Partnering in research, education and capacity building, communication and
advocacy:
›University of Sydney: medicine and affiliated institutions, pharmacy, nursing &
midwifery, veterinary science, engineering & IT, science, economics & business
(biosecurity), arts and law
›National: government agencies, NGOs, collaborating institutions
›International: WHO, CDC, Asia-Pacific Partners (Vietnam, China, Indonesia),
Swiss Tropical & Public Health Institute
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
New Initiatives
The Sydney Institute for Emerging Infections and Biosecurity (SEIB)
Example: multidisciplinary influenza research
› Vaccines, serosurveillance, vaccine uptake, paediatric surveillance, epidemiology
› Proteome analysis, modelling
› Resistance
› Diagnosis, surveillance, data transfer, policy advice
› Controlling Avian flu in Indonesia - Vet, Med Epidemiology, Behavioural research
› Response & Lab Capacity Building in Vietnam
› Clinical networks, infection control, vaccination
› Qualitative research, perception of risk, responses to media, political & ethical
challenges
› Legal, ethical preparedness across the region
10
University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
New Initiatives
Dean’s Fellowships
› Combined PhD/Fellowship programs in partnership with
professional Colleges
› Address concerns re future of academic medicine
› Supported by NHMRC
› Promote academic medicine as a career
› Potential to reduce overall training time
› Minimise financial impact on trainees
› Best research opportunities the University can offer
› Academic mentorship
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Under Consideration
Academic Health Centres
› Major restructure of health services and how they are governed by July 1 2011
› Opportunity to influence shaping of these structures to optimise patient care, deliver
quality education for all health care professionals and ensure high quality bench to
bedside research
› The University of Sydney is considering potential for creation of 3 entities based
around current strong groupings and alliances:
- Royal Prince Alfred & Concord hospitals
- Royal North Shore Hospital
- Westmead and Nepean hospitals
- Medical research institutes and centres and primary care structures associated with each
hospital grouping
› Joining hospitals, primary care service providers, universities and medical
research institutes in a single mission
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Asia-Pacific Linkages: China
Key relationships translating across teaching,
research and clinics
› Partnerships with leading Chinese
Universities and Academies
- Peking, Fudan, Shanghai Jiao Tong, CAS
› Teaching and learning
- Exchange of medical students
- Medical Education and Specialist Nursing
training curriculum development
- Joint training of medical science PhD
candidates
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Asia-Pacific Linkages: China
Key relationships translating across teaching,
research and clinics
› Research
- Cancer medicine
- Child & Maternal Health and micro nutrients
- Obesity, diabetes
- Tobacco control
- Sports medicine
- Public health
› Clinics
- China-Australia GP collaborations
- Clinical trials research - ethnicity and chemotherapy
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Asia-Pacific Linkages: Indonesia
Key relationships translating across teaching,
research and clinics
› Partnerships with leading Indonesian
Universities and Academies
- Universities of Indonesia, Gadjah Mada,
Airlangga, Udayana, Mataram and The
Eijkman Institute
› Teaching and learning
- Exchange of medical students
- Biosafety and Biosecurity Training
- Training of International Public Health
PhD candidates
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University of Sydney Academic Health Sciences
Asia-Pacific Linkages: Indonesia
Key relationships translating across teaching,
research and clinics
› Research
- Avian Influenza (HPAI H5N1 strain)
- Evaluation of communication strategies used within
a major teaching hospital in Jakarta.
- Mitochondrial (mt) DNA Technology for Forensic Testing
- A Multidisciplinary Research Forum and Showcase
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