Bringing Discoveries to Life

The Federal Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, as seen above with (L-R) Prof. Rodney Phillips, Mr David Coleman MP, Prof. Emad El-Omar, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Prof. John Edmonds, Cathy Yuncken, Bruce Spaul, Paul O’Sullivan, Michael Still, Assoc Prof. Peter Gonski, has announced $4 million funding to the SSMRF to establish a research centre at St George and Sutherland hospitals.

Doctors and scientists at the centre will focus on the microbiota in the gut, looking at how imbalances occur and how it causes disease, a critical step in preventing it happening in the first place.

It will be called the Microbiome Research Centre and will be led by the hospitals’ Professor of Medicine, Emad El-Omar.

Minister Hunt met with researchers and the Board of SSMRF and made the announcement at St George Private Hospital. Also attending was David Coleman, MP for Banks, who has taken a deep interest in the Foundation’s work.

Speaking to national and local media, he said: “Great researchers are to be found here; people such as those young PhD graduates that we’ve met today. Their job is to diagnose what as previously been impossible to detect, and then to treat the conditions…

“And whether we’ve seen colorectal cancer being researched, whether it is the treatment for women with pregnancy conditions such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes, there is hope, and the work of (Prof) Emad (El-Omar) and his team is about providing the hope.”

Imbalances in microbiota connected to diseases include stroke, asthma, obesity, diabetes, mental health, and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.

Having a healthy gut is essential to living a healthy life and all Australians will benefit from the findings of the Microbiome Research Centre.

St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation has been supporting important research for 10 years and Prof El-Omar and his team will lead the world.

The new centre will also improve research capacity by attracting more expert researchers to the region.

Research training will also be provided to people including medical and nursing students, junior doctors and nurses, mainstream scientists and senior faculty.

This Centre’s ground-breaking work will create new strategic links with national and international centres of research excellence.

It will provide an embedded research hub at the heart of a major health care campus in southern Sydney.

As part of its goal, the Foundation has attracted world-renowned researchers to develop research projects at St George and Sutherland Hospitals.

Harvard Professor Richard Stevens is researching inflammatory diseases.

SSMRF is also supporting Prof John Myburgh’s international research into brain injury, this is one of forty projects that has been in our local hospitals in the past 10 years. The video below shows some of these research areas.

Research is vital to healthcare, not only because it is the pathway to better understanding disease and finding new and better treatments, but because excellent research in our major hospitals is the best way to attract and retain the very best medical staff, and to extend the breadth and depth of the medical services provided.

The establishment of the Microbiome Research Centre in our region will allow world-leading researchers to continue their vital medical research for many years to come – without medical research medicine stands still.

SSMRF Chair Professor Edmonds said: “We would like to thank the Australian Government for their support. We want to attract more of the best researchers to the region because we know that medical research saves lives and improves lives,”

“The region’s hospitals deserve the best, and the Foundation is determined to make sure that happens.”

If you would like to support the work of SSMRF, please click here to donate to medical research in our hospitals.

Please click here to find out more about the history of this Federal Government funding

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