A message from Mater Research

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This year has proven to be another successful year for Mater Research, with significant growth further enhancing our reputation as an internationally competitive institute. We currently support more than 400 research staff, postgraduate students and honorary clinical researchers allowing us to achieve increased connectivity between research, education and health practice, ultimately providing better health outcomes for our community.

In 2015 Mater Research funding was increased, sustained and diverse, with the institute securing $7.5 million in competitive grants, with about a 26 per cent success rate with National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants—well above the national average of 15 per cent. This financial support ensures that Mater Research remains a leader in its field and continues to deliver positive impacts within our health industry.

As further acknowledgement of our exceptional work and reputation, Professor Prins was recently appointed to a new advisory body of the NHMRC—the Health Translation Advisory Committee. The NHMRC is Australia’s premier body for  administering medical research funding and issuing health and ethical guidelines. The committee will provide advice and guidance to the NHMRC Council and CEO on how best to improve the translation of health and medical research into patient outcomes and health policy.

As our funding, team and work have grown we continue our strong publication output, with more than 350 publications shared in national and international health literature. Nearly 70 per cent of these publications were driven by clinicians, highlighting the clinical integration of the institute. These publications, while noteworthy achievements in themselves, enable us to share our knowledge and learnings for robust peer review and are vital in the quest to expand the reach of our work, reduce duplication of research efforts internationally, and hasten the translation of research into practice.

Mater Research is a vibrant organisation displaying key differentiators that set us apart from other research facilities. These include, but are not limited to, support from Mater Health and Mater Foundation, clinical integration, clinician-scientist support through Fellowships and our strong people focus—it is our people, both biomedical and clinical, who ask the questions and work together to find the answers.

To this end, we welcomed many new researchers to our world-class institute and congratulated a number of early career researchers who secured prestigious overseas fellowships, including Dr Joanna Rakoczy, Mater student researcher and The University of Queensland PhD graduate who was awarded a two year Newton International Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral studies at the University of Cambridge.

Through our relationship with The University of Queensland, forming the Mater Research Institute – University of Queensland (MRIUQ), we are once again delighted to report another year of outstanding achievements from the Mater Research student cohort.

In 2015 more than 100 students undertook research projects at MRI-UQ, continuing on the Sisters of Mercy’s interest in fostering the next generation of medical research.

As always we appreciate the ongoing support we received from Mater Foundation to fund important research activities across the year. We thank the Foundation and donors whose generous contributions make an incredible difference to research and care.

Professor John Prins

Chief Executive Officer/Director, Mater Research

Mr Jim Walker AM

Chairman, Mater Research Board