Health innovation and research on show

The Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research, Frank McGuire and the Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, have been given a hands on tour of Ballarat’s medical research community during a visit to BIRCH (Ballarat Innovation & Research Collaboration for Health)

Associate Professor Mark Yates joined the pair to explain the important work underway in Ballarat to study diseases and medical conditions and develop effective treatments.

BIRCH was established early this year and provides collaborative support to researchers, and assists with project scoping, linkages, and access to office and meeting space in the heart of Ballarat’s Health and Knowledge Precinct.

The organisation helps to start medical research, maintain momentum, and bring research to completion.

Ms Addison said BIRCH has quickly become an important asset for the detection and prevention of medical conditions.

“I was blown away by the work underway at BIRCH and I’m really impressed by the dedication shown by the researchers, management and the board,’ she said.

“This project is putting Ballarat at the forefront of medical research in Australia and I was delighted Frank McGuire could join me here today to see the work first hand,” Ms Addison said.

BIRCH Executive Director, Associate Professor Mark Yates, said the visit was a good opportunity to showcase the important work underway.

“More than ever, collaboration is crucial to the success of health research. BIRCH demonstrates how relationships between industry, academia, health services and community can be fostered to benefit a region,” he said.

“Today, we are giving early career researchers the opportunity to ‘supercharge’ their medical research project development on our local shark tank of experienced medical researchers,” Associate Professor Yates said.

“Ballarat is geographically compact and our health resources clustered, which makes possible the collaborative, broad-based system change typically required to accelerate research that improves patient outcomes,” he said.

Ballarat is home to two major hospitals and six universities that offer health profession education, one of which is Australia’s largest public residential aged care service provider.

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