Two New Centres of Research Excellence in WA

By Petrina Smith
Monday, 26 August, 2013

The National Health and Medical Research Centre has awarded $5 million to establish two new centres of research excellence based at The University of Western Australia. 

The Centre of Research Excellence for Improving the Immediate and Longer-Term Health Outcomes of Preterm Infants will involve scientists from five Australian states, collaborating to examine and develop treatments for preterm infants in a holistic manner. It will bring together physicians and scientists specialising in areas such as nutrition, ventilation, infection, cardiology and neurodevelopment.
“Early life influences have a huge impact on long-term health, development and behaviour, especially in infants born prematurely,” UWA Winthrop Professor Karen Simmer said.  “The research we will conduct in this Centre will allow us to develop new treatments to improve their quality of life.”
The second new Centre – The Centre of Research Excellence in improving health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children – aims to improve health and developmental outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Professor Edmond said the centre will work in partnership to conduct research into the accessibility and quality of health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait children and will provide new knowledge about the health services Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children should receive.
“It brings together national and international researchers from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, non-government and mainstream organisations, and we have developed a research partnership that focuses on proximal issues in delivery of Aboriginal child health services. “Researchers would work together to generate new knowledge, translate that knowledge into policy and practice, build capacity and foster collaborations.”
UWA researchers are also integrally involved in the Centre for Research Excellence in Healthy, Liveable and Equitable Communities based at The University of Melbourne which was awarded almost $2.5 million in NHMRC funding over five years.
The team will work together to determine what cost-effective measures would create healthy, liveable and equitable communities in Australia and how this could be translated into policy and practice.
Professor Fiona Bull, UWA’s Centre for the Built Environment and Health, said it would enable UWA researchers to scale up their research activities to the national level and work alongside a team of national and international researchers to identify ways to improve the built environment and create healthier, more liveable communities.
“This research is vital given the pressures faced from an aging population, increasing trends in chronic disease and the rapid growth of our capital and regional cities across Australia,” Professor Bull said.
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