Projects tackling key health challenges of antimicrobial use and skin cancer are the first to be funded under a flagship initiative by The University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine.
 
Deputy Executive Dean and Associate Dean of Research, Professor Melissa Brown, said the Faculty is committed to progressing worthy world-class research by providing operational support over five years to deliver health outcomes.
 
“Our Health Outcomes Programs, or HOPs, represent a strategic approach to Faculty research, in collaboration with our hospital and health partners,” Professor Brown said.
 
“These are very specific and targeted programs of research that address an identified health problem and will produce a specific and visible benefit.”
 

The first project selected will address high rates of infection in critically ill patients by optimising antimicrobial therapy.
 
The research team will use whole genome sequencing to rapidly determine which bacteria are causing infection so the most suitable drug and dose combination can be given.
Once the process is established, the research team will test it in the clinic and determine its benefits to individual patients and the health system.
 
The project led by Professor Jason Roberts and Professor David Paterson includes researchers from UQ’s Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR) and School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB).
 
The second program to be supported focuses on harnessing technology to address the problem of high melanoma incidence and mortality.
 
The research team will recruit high risk participants to test targeted screening using 3D total body photography and mobile teledermoscopy in the context of the Australian health care system.
Results will be used to drive evidence-based changes to clinical practice.
 
The project will be led by Professor Peter Soyer of UQ’s Diamantina Institute and Professor David Whiteman, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, and includes collaborators from QUT, QIMR Berghofer and UQ’s Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Business.
 
Professor Brown said both teams should be congratulated for working collaboratively to create change and translate research into tangible health outcomes.
 
“These projects were selected following a competitive application process engaging interstate reviewers in late 2016, and we look forward to seeing them make a difference to health care in the years ahead.”
 
Media:  Bernadette O’Connor, Bernadette.oconnor@uq.edu.au, 0431 533 209.
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