Australia’s Chief Scientist visits the Alfred Research Alliance

Dr Alan Finkel visits the Alfred Research Alliance on 19 November 2019.

Dr Alan Finkel visits the Alfred Research Alliance on 19 November 2019.

Today we were privileged to welcome Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, to the Alfred Research Alliance precinct.

Dr Finkel was accompanied by a delegation of leaders from the eight organisations of the Alliance, and met with several researchers and clinicians as he toured the precinct’s world-leading facilities.

Dr Finkel’s tour began at the new clinical trials facility in the neurology ward of The Alfred, which is the first hospital in Australia to offer and test new neurological treatments and therapies in a ward setting. Here he chatted to researchers from across the precinct, including Monash University’s Prof Jayashri Kulkarni, Dr Trisha Peel, Prof Anne Holland and A/Prof Andrew Wei, as well as A/Prof Andre La Gerche from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and Prof James Beeson from Burnet Institute.

Next it was over to Monash University’s sequencing laboratory, for an overview of the Alliance’s work in precision medicine and what the future holds for Alfred Health’s clinical genomics service and the other member organisations working in this space. Dr Finkel was shown around the sequencing facility by Prof Andrew Perkins, a professor in the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases within Monash University’s Central Clinical School.

From here, Dr Finkel and the delegation headed to their final stop at the Preclinical Imaging Facility, hearing from Prof David Ascher about his team’s work in computational biology/informatics on the way.

Monash’s ARA-MBI Preclinical Imaging Facility was established by Monash University, with financial contribution from the Baker Institute, and can be accessed by others on the precinct for their research. These state-of-the-art imaging technologies allow researchers to observe, test and understand more about functional changes in the body than ever before. During his tour of the centre, Dr Finkel met with Dr Bianca Jupp from Monash’s Central Clinical School, Dr Xiaowei Wang from the Baker Institute and Dr Paul Gilson from Burnet Institute.

As well as demonstrating the breadth and depth of the ground-breaking research happening on the precinct, the tour also highlighted a number of key issues impacting the research community more broadly, including gender equity in science and research quality and integrity.

The tour was organised by the Alfred Research Alliance to raise the profile of our precinct and showcase our unique translational research loop dedicated to solving critical health challenges locally, nationally and internationally.