New nano, new starts and new horizons...

Some of you may not be aware of the lean machine behind the operations at BioMedVic.  
This past month, Hollie Munro and I have been focussed on one of the organisations key member benefits – the delivery of a cutting-edge scientific symposium for the exchange of information and the opportunity to spark new collaborations. A resounding success, you will find more on the ‘Nanotechnology & Medicines for Tomorrow’ symposium and public forum below.
I’m pleased to report that BioMedVic’s capacity to support its Members has increased with the recent appointment of Dr Michelle Zajac to the newly created role of Strategic Initiatives Manager. Michelle will be integral to our efforts to build better linkages between the state’s biomedical research community and leaders in government and industry. Many of you will know Michelle from her excellent work with UROP and I know you will join with me in wishing her every success in this important new role.
This month we were delighted to welcome Swinburne University of Technology as the latest Member of BioMedVic. Swinburne’s Associate Dean for Research and Engagement, Prof Sally McArthur, is well known to BioMedVic as an enthusiastic partner on the UROP-Small Technologies project. We look forward to forging new interactions with Sally and her colleagues at Swinburne.

The long-established sister city connection between Melbourne and Osaka created an opportunity for me to visit Japan in August as a guest of the City of Osaka and its Chamber of Commerce & Industry. With fabulous support from the Victorian Government Business Office in Tokyo, an excellent program enabled me to promote Victoria’s remarkable biomedical research community and infrastructure to academic and industry leaders in Osaka. There was particular interest in identifying opportunities to collaborate in medical research and education, on the design and conduct of clinical trials, and in medical technology. Some valuable connections were made and an exciting opportunity has resulted for BioMedVic Members to express interest in participating in the Victorian Delegation to Japan and Korea, 1-6 February 2015, coinciding with Medical Japan 2015. Please contact me for further information.

Having done the homework and formed a consolidated view on what Members believe is needed for Victoria to get maximum benefit from the investment in medical research over many years, Ian and I have been meeting with State and Federal MPs and their advisors to put Member views to them. Like me, I’m sure all Members keenly await the result from the state ballot boxes this weekend.

Best wishes

Jan Tennent

Talk of nanoneedles and theranostics

Leslie Yeo (RMIT) presenting at the symposium.
In partnership with Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), BioMedVic created another opportunity for knowledge sharing, collaboration and innovation between scientists and clinicians at the 'Nanotechnology & Medicines for Tomorrow' Symposium on 20 November.

Sixteen local and international speakers presented on the use of nanoparticles for drug delivery, cellular processing in biological systems and translational research to a crowd of 120 attendees, many of whom were students keen to hear about the impressive work from leaders in the field. 

“Our research group is theoretical based so seeing a lot of the experimental work is always relevant learning experiences” – Cameron Lee, PhD Student at RMIT University.

Head of the team that was voted 2014 EU Research Group of the Year, Professor Molly Stevens (Imperial College London) said “Today has been about how different nano technologies can come together, understanding of how cells can interact with some of these materials and also understanding a lot of the fundamental processes and biochemistry within cell pathways”.

Networking was high on the agenda, particularly for PhD students and post-docs, who were in the limelight in the lunch break when they showcased their posters and discussed their research projects with peers. Lars Esser (MIPS) and Nevena Todorova (RMIT University) were awarded the RACI Vic Polymer Group prizes for best posters in the PhD and Post-Doctoral categories, respectively.
Discussion at the early-career researcher posters.
At the Public Forum, Laureate Professor Peter Doherty captivated the audience with his views on the promise of nanotechnology for tomorrow’s medicine and on the obligations that come with publicly-funded research. He then moderated an interesting Q and A session with an expert panel comprising Molly Stevens, Andrew Scott, Leslie Yeo, Michelle Halls and Angus Johnston. A video of the forum will be available on the BioMedVic website soon.

BioMedVic and MIPS sincerely thank Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick (Plenary sponsor), Sigma-Aldrich (Session sponsor & Exhibitor) and Davies Collison Cave (Public Forum sponsor) for their support of the event.

BioMedVic holds two major symposia per year with the aim of bringing together colleagues from scientific and clinical fields on a common topic; enabling the sharing of scientific knowledge and opening the channels for collaboration and innovation to benefit the health of Victoria and people all over the world.
BioMedVic Annual Report 2013-2014 available online

Opening the doors of Victoria’s cutting-edge facilities to industry

Industry and academic researchers can now gain easy access to an extraordinary selection of publicly funded scientific instruments and expertise across Victoria’s research institutions through a single access web portal.

Aiming to accelerate research and increase industry collaborations across the state, the full deployment of the Australian Research Infrastructure Network (ARIN) project was announced this week by the Victorian Platform Technologies Network (VPTN), a consortium comprising of Monash University and Biomedical Research Victoria in partnership with Perceptive Software, part of Lexmark International.

Following a successful pilot, the ARIN project will now expand to bring together more publicly funded scientific instruments and services located across Victoria for booking.
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) Flow Cytometry & Imaging Facility’s instruments can be booked using ARIN
Funded by the Victorian Government through the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation, ARIN is part of a suite of tools developed by the VPTN to enable researchers from industry and academia to Browse.Connect.Engage with Victoria's world-class infrastructure and capabilities.

Visit VPTN and ARIN for more information
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2013 UROP Graduates - where are they now?

The benefit of having had a UROP experience was highlighted in the results of the 2013 UROP Graduates survey. Over 70% had progressed to higher degrees, specifically 43% to Honours and 28% to Masters.
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BioMedVic Events Diary

Another year is almost over, but there's still lots going on in the health and medical research community.

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