AAMRI eNews – 10th edition – November 2017

AAMRI eNews – 10th edition – November 2017

22nd November, 2017


10th edition – November 2017

In this issue

  1. AAMRI news –  last chance to register for the AAMRI Convention, and the 2017 AAMRI Survey and Report is now underway
  2. Government update –  data breach scheme set to come into force, and consultations underway on the National Gene Technology Scheme, 3D printed medical devices and IP
  3. NHMRC & ARC updates – peer review consultation, grant outcomes, targeted calls, and new ARC training centre for biopharmaceuticals
  4. MRFF update –  $100M brain cancer mission, $70M boost for Fellowships
  5. Sector news – Opposition calls for more dementia research, CSIRO to invest in precision health, John Shine new Academy President
  6. Reports & resources – New National Cancer Council Indicators website, cancer biomakers report
  7. Funding & award opportunities –  The latest funding and award opportunities
  8. Events & conferences –  Brain Alliance at the Dome, melanoma masterclass, commercialisation training and more

Do you have something that you would like featured in a future newsletter? Send it through to communications@aamri.org.au

1. AAMRI news

2017 AAMRI Convention – final opportunity to register!

The Convention will take place on 6 and 7 December and we have a great line up of speakers including Prof Ian Frazer AC (President of the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences), Dr Alan Finkel AO (Chief Scientist), and Prof Anne Kelso AO (NHMRC CEO). Final registrations close on Monday 27 November.

2017 AAMRI Survey and Report

Every two years AAMRI conducts a Member Survey to collect financial, workforce and research translation information from its members, which is used to inform submissions and discussions with government and other stakeholders, as well as the AAMRI Member Report.

Each member should have received their survey via email by the end of this week. Please see our website for survey details, instructions and timeline and direct enquiries to Cath Latham (Ph 03 9345 2190).

AAMRI welcomes latest MRFF announcements

Professor Tony Cunningham AO, AAMRI President, welcomed the announcement of the new BioMedTech Horizons program, and the $100M in funding for medical research to fight brain cancer. Both the announcements are funded by the MRFF, with the brain cancer initiative also receiving $50 million in philanthropic funding.

AAMRI submission to the Review of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

AAMRI’s submission highlights the importance of retaining the use of the term research misconduct within the Code, as well as the use of external panel members.

2.  Government update

Policy update

Are you ready for the notifiable data breach scheme? – commences 22 February 2018

The notifiable data breach scheme requires organisations to notify individuals likely to be at risk of serious harm by a data breach. The scheme commences on 22 February 2018, and organisations not complying can face stiff penalties of up to $3M.

Regulation of autologous cell and tissue products

Following two government consultations, there will now be increased regulation of autologous human cell and tissue products.

Government response to the Senate inquiry into Lyme-like illness

The Government has tabled its response, and the NHMRC will undertake a targeted call for research into this area. An expert group involving consumers is current drafting the terms of reference for the call.

Government response to the Senate inquiry to availability of new, innovative and specialist cancer drugs

The Government has issued a wide ranging response to this Senate inquiry, including highlighting the importance of the MRFF for funding future cancer research.


National Gene Technology Scheme (Phase 2)

Phase two consultation is now open following the release of a consultation paper. The consultation paper calls for comment on a range of technical, regulatory, governance, and social and ethical issues. Responses are due by 15 December 2017.

Personalise and 3D printed medical devices

The TGA is seeking comments on future options for the regulation of personalised and 3D printed medical devices. A consultation paper has been released, and comments in response are due by 22 December.

Draft Legislation: Intellectual Property Laws Amendment

IP Australia has released draft legislation for public comment that includes measures to implement aspects of the Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Australia’s Intellectual Property (IP) arrangements. Submissions are due by 4 December 2017.


NHMRC Peer Review Consultation

There’s not long to go to have your say on the NHMRC consultation paper on peer review. Responses to the paper are due on Monday 4 December 2017.

NHMRC Grant outcomes

While we await the full funding announcements for the latest Project and Program grant rounds, a select few have now been announced. This includes a record $24 million for cardiovascular research which was announced by the Health Minister, Greg Hunt MP, at The George Institute. Announcements were also made at St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, and the Menzies School of Health Research. The full list of grant recipients announced to date can be found on the NHMRC website.

NHMRC Targeted Call for Research

The NHMRC has opened a targeted call for research into Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from Early Life to Young Adult. Minimum data is due by 24 January 2018, and closing date for submissions is 7 February 2018.

NHMRC Consultation on draft modules for ‘Guidelines for Guidelines’

A series of modules have been developed to provide practical advice on how to meet each of the standards used for developing guidelines containing recommendations for clinical practice, public health, and environmental health. Submissions are invited on the draft modules, and should be received by 6 December 2017.

NHMRC Consultation: Road map 3

Public consultation on the draft Road Map 3: A strategic framework for improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health through research is now open. Submissions are due by 10 December 2017.

ARC – Research to Drive Innovation in Diagnostic Devices

A new Industrial Transformation Hub is being established to enable researchers to work with industry to focus on developing new diagnostic devices. The $ 3.7M Hub will be based at University of Technology Sydney.

ARC – New ARC Training Centre to transform Australia’s growing biopharmaceutical industry

This new training centre at UQ has been awarded $4.3M over five years, and will create new biopharmaceuticals and antibody-based reagents, focus on developing enhanced production methods and improved manufacturing capabilities, as well as train a cohort of scientists.

ARC – Engagement and Impact Assessment Pilot Report

The findings of the ARC’s Engagement and Impact Assessment have been released, ahead of its full implementation as part of ARC ERA 2018.

4. MRFF update

Stay in the loop on MRFF announcements and grant information

The AAMRI website has the latest news on the MRFF, including up-to-date information on MRFF competitive grant schemes and where to apply.

Australian Brain Cancer Mission

The Health Minister announced a new $100 million Australian Brain Cancer Mission. This funding will be provided over the next ten years, with half the funding coming from the MRFF, and the rest coming from philanthropy, state governments and industry. Already $30 million has been pledged from philanthropic donors. Part of the initiative will include a contestable grant program, as well as postdoctoral, senior researcher and practitioner fellowships.

$70 million MRFF funding commitment to boost Fellowship schemes

While at the Kirby Institute, the Health Minister announced an additional $70 million over five years will be invested from the MRFF to increase the scale of existing Fellowship schemes offered by the NHMRC. At the funding announcement the recipients of the first ten MRFF TRIP Fellowships were announced, along with 12 TRIP Fellowships funded through the NHMRC.

BioMedTech Horizons

A total of $5 million is available in this round, and there will be a further $30 million available over the next four years. In the first round up to $3 million will be invested in precision medicine, and up to $2 million for ideas to bring 3D anatomical printing to everyday medical use. The closing date for EOIs is 10 December 2017. The second round of funding is expected to open in March 2018

5.  Sector news

Leader of the Opposition speaks on the importance of tackling dementia

The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, has spoken on the importance of tackling dementia and redoubling our efforts into dementia research. The speech was given at the Centenary Institute, and Bill Shorten said more resources and more funding dollars need to be directed towards dementia research.

NSW: $12M Biobank opened – largest in Southern Hemisphere

The largest storage bank for human biospecimens in the southern hemisphere is now open. The Biobank will house more than three million human samples including DNA, tissue, blood and tumour cells.

CSIRO to invest in Precision Health

CSIRO Chief Executive, Larry Marshall, has announced that CSIRO will invest $27M in two new Future Science Platforms, including one in precision health. The platform will harness the power of big data to personalise solutions, create new foods for health, and establish new industries to deliver better health.

Next Australian Academy of Science President – Professor John Shine AC

The Australian Academy of Science has elected Professor John Shine AC as its next President. Professor Shine is currently Chair of CSL, as well as former President of AAMRI, and former Director of the Garvan Institute. Professor Shine will take on the role of President in May 2018.

Government to invest $13M in a major longitudinal children’s health study

The Prime Minister has announced the Government will invest $13M in the ORIGINS Project, which will be conducted at Telethon Kids Institute and Jundalup Health Campus. The study will a follow a cohort of 10,000 from pregnancy, to birth, to five years of age.

Stem Cells Australia – funding extended to June 2019

The ARC is providing Stem Cells Australia will an additional $3 million to support collaborative stem cell research across more than a dozen universities and medical research institutes.

6.  Reports and resources

National Cancer Council launches first interactive website of national data across the continuum of cancer control

The National Cancer Council Indicators website represents a significant advance in how population-based cancer data in Australia is consolidated and presented. The website allows users to see visual representations of data on each indicator through interactive charts. Data can also be filtered by tumour type and by category, such as population group, sex, age, and socio-economic status.

Cancer Biomarkers in Australia

This Sansom Institute report finds that six cancers claim more than 23,000 Australian lives each year. The report states these cancers they should be prioritised for research that makes it possible to identify the molecular fingerprint of the tumor and improve survival.

AIHW: Deaths among people with diabetes in Australia, 2009-2014

This report uses linked data to provide a more complete understanding of deaths among people with diagnosed diabetes. It highlights that death rates for people with diabetes are almost double those of other Australians and that people with diabetes are more likely to die prematurely.

AIHW: Australia’s mothers and babies 2015-in brief

Australia’s mothers and babies 2015-in brief presents key statistics and trends on pregnancy and childbirth of mothers, and the characteristics and outcomes of their babies

AIHW: Trends in injury deaths, Australia 1999-00 to 2011-12

This report focuses on trends in deaths due to injury and poisoning that occurred over the period 1999-00 to 2011-12.

7.  Funding & award opportunities

The Bupa Health Foundation – emerging health researcher of the year

This award recognises the achievements of an early career researcher in applied research (no more than 5 years post-PhD). The recipient will be awarded a prize of $25,000 to further their career in research. Nominations are due 8 December 2017.

2017 David Syme Research Prize

This Australia wide prize recognises the best original research in Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Geology produced in Australia during the past two years (1 January 2016 – 31 December 2017). The award is made on the basis of research quality and its likely impact and value in the industrial and commercial interests of Australia. Further information and eligibility criteria are available from University of Melbourne, Faculty of Science.

8.  Events, conferences and training opportunities

Australian Brain Alliance – Brains at the Dome

This workshop at the Shine Dome, Canberra, will feature presentations and panel discussions from each of the major international brain science programs, along with Australian brain scientists. The event will take place on 7 December 2017.

ANDS Powering up your 2018 data skills training: Brisbane workshop

A free workshop on developing data skills from the Australian National Data Service. This workshop will focus on training around research and data skills techniques applicable to any academic learners in universities, research institutions or virtual laboratories. The workshop will take place at QUT The Cube, Brisbane on 5 December, 9.30am to 4.00pm.

The Bridge Program – commercialisation training

QUT in collaboration with MTPConnect and industry partners are set to deliver an innovative education and training program to help researchers successfully commercialise Australian pharmaceutical research. The program offers access to international speakers and global leaders from top-tier pharmaceutical companies. Expressions of interest for participation close on 2 February 2018.

The Ultimate Melanoma Masterclass

Take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from the luminaries in melanoma research about the latest advances in clinical management and research. This free seminar for clinicians and researchers is hosted by Melanoma Institute Australia and will be held at The University of Sydney on Tuesday 13 February 2018.

CRC – Collaboration for Industry Impact – Deep Dive Workshop

To help prospective CRC bidders, the CRC Association and Collabforge have developed a workshop that combines practical bid-creation content with a deep dive into the theory and practice of collaboration. The workshop will be held on 7-8 December at the University of South Australia.