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McKeon Review submission discusses regenerative medicine in future of Australian health and medical research

30 March 2012
In a submission to the Strategic Review of Medical Research in Australia, Professor Martin Pera and Dr Megan Munsie considered the future of health and medical research in Australia from the point of view of the field of regenerative medicine - a discipline that serves as a test case of our ability to manage and foster discovery and translational studies in a new, rapidly evolving scientific arena.  

The submission examined the wide-ranging future implications of research in this field, and the limitations of current mechanisms for the provision and management of research funding in the sector in Australia. New means to address the challenges and opportunities facing Australian researchers who specialize in this discipline were provided, with reference to specific examples of novel approaches being taken overseas to address the complexities of interdisciplinary and translational research inherent to it.  Specific recommendations related to:
  • funding levels and sources of support for the future;
  • the importance of ensuring that our research governance structures facilitate an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to driving the research agenda forward;
  • the critical issue of training and career pathways for clinician scientists; 
  • the establishment of research institutes of regenerative medicine linking basic and translational research to clinical trials in the context of teaching hospitals; 
  • the importance to our scientists of international collaborative links, and
  • the essential role of assessment of health care outcomes and economics in the field.