Annual report 2008, Menzies School of Health Research
Menzies School of Health Research annual report 2008; 2008 Menzies School of Health annual report
Menzies School of Health Research
E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Menzies School of Health Research annual report; Annual Report
Through scientifi c excellence, education and research the team at Menzies is discovering ways to reduce the impact of disease and improve the health and well-being of people living in Australia and beyond. -- page 4
Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; Charles Darwin University; Discovery for a healthy tomorrow
Who we are and what we do page 4 -- Where and how we work page 5 -- Menzies Strategic Plan page 6 -- Vision page 7 -- Values page 7 -- Goals page 7 -- The Year at a Glance page 8 -- Financial and Corporate Overview page 12 -- A Message from the Chair page 14 -- A Message from the Director page 16 -- A Message from the Indigenous Development Unit page 18 -- Child Health Division page 21 -- Healing and Resilience Division page 27 -- International Health Division page 33 -- Preventable Chronic Diseases Division page 39 -- Services, Systems and Society Division Page 45 -- Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases Division page 51 -- Education and Training Division page 57 -- Corporate Services Division page 63 -- Menzies and the Community page 71 -- Governance page 72 -- Honorary Appointees page 75 -- Research Funding page 76 -- Publications page 84 -- Professional Activities page 92 -- Collaborators page 96 -- page 3
Menzies School of Health Research; Medicine; Research; Annual report
Menzies School of Health Research
Menzies School of Health Research annual report; Annual Report
99 pages : colour illustration ; 30 cm.
Menzies School of Health Research
https://www.menzies.edu.au/ [Menzie School of Health Research website]
A message from the director Each year that I write this message I talk of unprecedented growth and success and this year is no different. It has been quite a year for Menzies with growth in all areas of the organisation. From people to projects, budgets to buildings, 2008 has seen the rewards and challenges that come with success. I am extremely proud of the esteem in which Menzies research is held by the wider community and the recognition which is bestowed upon Menzies and its team of highly trained and qualifi ed staff. It is a credit to the staff and Board that we have come through this period of growth as a stronger and more cohesive organisation with a clear focus and an achievable vision. There were plenty of comings and goings in 2008 to keep the Menzies Human Resources Department busy with several senior and signifi cant appointments and departures during the course of the year. Associate Professor Phil Giffard took up the newly created post of Head of Laboratory Science and Associate Professor Adam Tomison was appointed as Head of Child Protection Research. Professor Sven Silburn was appointed as Professor of Education and Child Development (bringing to fruition our strategy of moving Menzies child health research into the education domain) and Dr Kate Senior moved from our Education and Training Division to take up the role of Head of the newly formed Substance Misuse Unit. Long term collaborator of Menzies, Ms Louise Clark, was appointed as Head of the Education and Training Unit. A number of these people will begin their appointments in early 2009. Professor John Condon stepped down from the position of Deputy Director but thankfully remains part of the Menzies team and Professor Ross Spark took up the Deputy Director post in late 2008. We also sadly farewelled Associate Professor Ngiare Brown, who moved on to become Co-Director of the new Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney. Ngiare joins the legion of Menzies alumni who have gone on to positions of leadership and considerable infl uence around this country. All in all, the year saw a staff growth rate of 15 per cent. However, this increase does not accurately depict the recruitment activity level for the year. One hundred and eighteen new employees commenced at Menzies during 2008 almost ten new employees per month. It was an outstanding year for NHMRC success with a total of almost $7.5 million from new project grants. This represents an astounding 52 per cent success rate by far the best performance by the Menzies team ever. The competitive grants process is not an easy journey and this success is not a coincidence. It is testament to the hard work and high quality of Menzies researchers and support staff, particularly our Research Administration team. Notable research outcomes for the year included the publication of data by our International Health Division confi rming that a strain of malaria thought previously to be benign was potentially fatal. The research, conducted at the joint Menzies/ Indonesian Department of Health Timika Research Station in Papua, Indonesia has shown that P. vivax is far from benign, but is responsible for a signifi cant amount of illness with high rates of severe disease and death. Qualitative research was published by the Preventable Chronic Diseases Division about Aboriginal perceptions of why people smoke and quit, and of effectiveness and acceptability of different tobacco control activities. This research found that there is a complex interplay of historical, social, cultural, psychological and physiological factors which infl uence the smoking behaviours of Indigenous adults in remote communities. Researchers from the Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases Division reported a growing problem with community-acquired Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Aboriginal communities across northern Australia. Researchers believe the growing epidemic is particularly related to continuing poor skin health and poor quality and overcrowded housing. A review of the incidence, aetiology and outcomes of cancer for Indigenous Australians was published in the Lancet Oncology by members of our Services, Systems and Society Division. The paper described that patterns of Indigenous cancer incidence and mortality are largely explained by the higher prevalence of risk factors, most notably smoking, and by inadequate health-system performance. The newly established Antibiotic resistance team led by Assoc Professor Phil Giffard has developed a new high resolution melt-based method for the genetic fi ngerprinting of bacteria. This has been proven particularly successful and applied to a range of bacterial pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph) and group A Streptococcus. The year saw a number of prizes and awards bestowed upon Menzies staff and once again Menzies researchers were invited to speak at some of the worlds most prestigious scientifi c meetings and conferences. Particularly worth noting was our strong presence at the Sixth International Symposium on Pneumococci & Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD6) in Iceland. 16 Menzies School of Health Research | Annual Report 2008
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