The Microbiome Research Centre (MRC) was established at St George Hospital in 2017 with a federal government grant awarded to the SSMRF.
The MRC’s mission is to tackle the health priorities of the Australian Government. The MRC uses the National Health Priority Areas (NHPA) as the template for expanding the research collaborations and infrastructure, drawing together the best available talent and expertise locally, nationally and internationally. Clearly the translational impact of this research will take several years to be fully realised but the agenda is very clear: to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians.
The MRC continues to expanded its collaborative research agenda and now has 127 research projects including 28 international projects spanning across global hospitals, universities and medical research institutes.
Our research is focused on the following five key pillars:
- Women and Children’s Health
- Infection, inflammation and immunity
- Critical care
- Mental health and neuroscience
In 2021 the MRC has 72 clinical studies including three clinical trials and we are collaborating with 99 local, national and international hospitals, universities and medical research institutes. These studies have produced 108 publications and did not exist prior to the Federal Government funding that enabled the establishment of the MRC.
The MRC core team now includes 47 members:
- 6 Professors
- 1 Senior Research Associate
- 1 Executive Officer/Project Manager
- 1 Executive Manager
- 7 Postdoctoral Research Fellows
- 5 Research Assistants
- 3 Research Officers
- 2 Visiting Researchers
- 8 PhD students
- 13 ILP/Honours students
Over the past four years MRC researchers have achieved significant success with research grant funding, securing over $21 million in addition to the $6million federal grant to SSMRF.
Two of our MRC Seed Grant funded studies have evolved into major Australian clinical research projects, the MothersBabies Study and the Australian IBD Microbiome (AIM) study.
The MothersBabies study aims to investigate the role of the microbiome in pregnancy and its outcomes in the mothers and their babies. It is unique in starting at the preconception stage and following women for up to a year postpartum and their babies for the first few years of life. The study outcomes will include defining signatures of outcomes of pregnancy, e.g., healthy, preeclampsia, diabetes, obesity, etc as well as constructing multi-omic predictive signatures based on preconception microbiome.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an incurable chronic disabling disease that impacts health and quality of life of many people. Australia has high incidence/prevalence rates of IBD, with an annual cost to society of $3.6 billion. The ever-growing population of St George and Sutherland Shire currently stands at 0.5 million and includes ~2,000 IBD sufferers.
The intention of the AIM study is to generate crucial data relating to the Australian IBD microbiota signature. This information will help us to generate novel predictive models for translational utility to the clinic. The ultimate aim is to change the course of this lifelong disease thus enriching the health of the community through medical research at St George and Sutherland hospitals.
SSMRF believes that funding medical research is the best way to develop better treatments for patients and improve healthcare for our community…and beyond. We believe that research will provide better treatment options across a wide range of key health areas, which is why we support the varied research work of the medical staff and researchers at St George and Sutherland hospitals.
SSMRF believes that funding medical research is the best way to develop better treatments for patients and improve healthcare for our community… and beyond.
We believe that research will provide better treatment options across a wide range of key health areas, including cancer, mental health, women’s and children’s health, microbiome, bone & joint diseases, immunity, allergy & infection, obesity & metabolic diseases, intensive care & emergency medicine, and nursing & allied health research.
The St George & Sutherland Medical Research Foundation supports the varied research work of the medical staff and researchers at St George and Sutherland hospitals. Both hospitals have a rich tradition of successful medical research that has positively impacted the lives of people in the local and wider communities.
We are committed to work with our community and hospitals to raise funds to promote and support medical research.
The funds raised through the generosity of our donors and sponsors are used to provide funding each year in competitive and enabling research funding.
We release a call for EOIs once per year, inviting innovative basic, translational and clinical research proposals.
All grant applications are considered and assessed by the SSMRF Research Committee, a group of highly distinguished research scientists who are appointed by SSMRF’s Board of Directors.
- Applicants whose OIs are deemed most meritorious move to the second step and are invited to submit a full proposal.
- All applications are reviewed by external expert reviewers and our Research Committee. Their recommendations are then presented to the SSMRF Board of Directors for review, final vote, and approval.