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Dear Biomedical and Health Innovation ECP affiliates

What a year it has been for the ECPs! I am so proud of
all the achievements and hard work being done.
I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you of the
many activities we have been involved in together: Cross-disciplinary Symposia and Workshops on
‘Brain’ (April); ‘Lungs’ (May); ‘Gut’ (August); and ‘Blood’ (September); the 'Sleep and Brain Health Conference’ (October); and in November, we had multiple new Workshops and cross-disciplinary training on:
‘Airways and Nose’ through SCONA;  'Metabolomics';
and 'Optical Sensors and Precision Medicine'.

I am delighted to announce that I have been able to
recently support two additional exciting projects
via the BHI ECP CDF 2018. These are the ‘RMIT
Technology and Entrepreneurship Club’
awarded to Dr Sarvesh Soni and the ‘Aboriginal
Health in Aboriginal Hands. Upskilling Indigenous
Students in Sports Training and participating in
Aboriginal Sports Carnivals to promote health and
wellbeing and career pathways in the Community’
Activity awarded to Dr Dein Vindigni. 

Thanks to you all, we are already making the BHI-ECP a
lead translational and cross-disciplinary hub of activity.

We are now moving closer to our annual event, Engaging For Impact 2019, which will be held from 18-20 February 2019. Day Two of this event will host 'Empowering Health'. I will be hosting a quickfire session where CDF 2018 recipients will have the opportunity to give us an insight into their activities, highlighting the impact these funds have had on their research and industry partners. On Day Three, the Biomedical and Health Innovation ECP will also co-host with RMIT Europe and the Design and Creative Practice ECP, a session on ‘Of care and ageing - towards a humane and relevant future’. Based on a selection process, we are offering a chance for affiliates to present at this event. If you are interested in presenting, I would like to invite you to volunteer to be selected to participate as a presenter, by emailing me (and cc. Michelle Nicolo). I encourage all of you to register to attend these sessions, as well as the EFI2019 event. To register, click here.

I am looking forward to what the BHI ECP will bring in 2019. Given your feedback, my vision for 2019 includes a new type of event, to directly support you with engaging with industry (hospitals, Pharma, biotech, aged care, manufacturing, etc) in our four priority areas:
  • Aged health;
  • Diseases of pollution and urbanization;
  • Global and regional citizenship; and 
  • 4.0 revolution and personalized medicine.
I would like to continue working together to make BHI-ECP the leader in cross-disciplinary translation in 2019. If you have ideas or stories that you would like to include in the next issue of our newsletter, please email Michelle.
We also ask you to encourage your PhD students to affiliate with the ECPs, particularly if their area of research and study is relevant to the BHI-ECP. Many opportunities will be planned for affiliated students next year however, they will need to become affiliated to benefit. Please take a minute to encourage them and send them this link. More details if you scroll down further.
I wish you and your families a wonderful break over the festive season!
Looking forward to a sizzling 2019!

Warmest wishes    

Magdalena Plebanski     



Local Engagements

Society for Computational Fluid Dynamics of the Nose & Airway (SCONA)

SCONA, a full-day event with presentations and talks
on the nose, physiology and function was held on
9 November and attended by industry and RMIT research experts.
Led by one of the BHI ECP CDF 2018 recipients Dr Kiao Inthavong, this successful and informative workshop resulted in strong collaborations between RMIT researchers and the following organisations:

LEAP Australia (advanced computer modelling)
CSIRO (advanced flow measurements)
Flo Nasal by ENT Technologies (optimised drug delivery)
The University of Auckland, NZ (surgical procedures for chronic sinusitis)
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (pulmonary drug delivery modelling)
Kyushu University, Japan (indoor air toxicology)
ENT Associates (virtual surgery applications)

After the workshop, a dinner was held to continue future discussions.

A highlights video has been created by Zhuoying Yang. To view this, click here

To view the FULL PROGRAM, click here.


Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics

The three-day hands-on workshop on 'Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics' was held from 19-21 November, 2018 at the RMIT Bundoora west campus. The aim of this workshop was to showcase how metabolomics can be applied to research disciplines in both the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences and the School of Science. The workshop consisted of HDR students, senior academics and industry partners from a diverse range of research fields including: natural products chemistry, biotechnology, food chemistry and nutrition, Chinese medicine, clinical biochemistry and neurodevelopment in health and disease.

The three day intensive course was divided into specific activities. Day one consisted of several intensive lectures while Day Two focused on analysing metabolomic data (metabolite identification and univariate analyses). The final day looked at multivariate statistics and pathway mapping data. 

This workshop was was led by Dr Daniel Dias and supported by the Biomedical and Health Innovation ECP CDF 2018.


EFI 2019 updates

Engaging For Impact (EFI) 2019

18-20 February, 2019
RMIT City Campus, Melbourne

Engaging For Impact is a three day event with an exciting line-up of industry speakers across panels, interactive workshops, masterclasses, tours, fast pitches and installations. The event will explore the themes of Melbourne 8 Million, Empowering Health, Ethical Innovation & Industry Transformation and Collaborative Shared Futures.

Biomedical & Health Innovation ECP affiliates are encouraged to register into the Empowering Health program on Day Two. Part of the program will include fast pitches by those awarded the BHI ECP CDF 2018. Listen to their stories and how this funding assisted them with their research and the impact it has created. You are also invited to register to attend the 'Of care and ageing - towards a humane and relevant future' panel session led by BHI, RMIT Europe and the Design and Creative Practice ECP of Day Three of this event.

Join us at this FREE event from 18-20 February 2019 at the RMIT University City campus. Be sure to register into your favourite programs as numbers are limited. REGISTER HERE.


BHI ECP Sector Expert Research Advisory Group (SERAG)  


Our first Sector Expert Research Advisory Group
(SERAG) meeting was held on 29 November.
Industry members together with RMIT met to
discuss research priority areas that would link
with industry partners. Members who attended

Mr Andrew Batty from Lincoln Consulting Group
Mr Andrew Crettenden from St Vincent's Hospital
Professor Katie Flanagan, Launceston General Hospital & University of Tasmania
Ms Penelope Lane, Optix Advisory
Ms Bronwyn Le Grice, ANDHealth

The discussion included many topics of value with members agreeing to have more meetings per year (rather than less). This enthusiasm will greatly assist in making BHI-ECP affiliates' external engagements, a success.

A big thank you for SERAG members' generosity, as they currently have many commitments in addition to their current positions. Thank you also to Professor Swee Mak and Ms Jane Holt who provided the broad context for the ECP vision at this meeting.



Grant Opportunities & Grant News         


Medical Research Future Fund
'Keeping Australians Out of Hospital' Grant Opportunity 

The Medical Research Future Fund –
'Keeping Australians Out of Hospital'
grant opportunity will support research
into evidence-based, implementable
and scalable preventive health measures
that aim to prevent the development, or
promote better management of complex
and chronic health conditions, improve
quality of life for people with these
conditions and keep them out of hospital.  

This grant opportunity is being administered by NHMRC on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health. 

Total Amount Available (AUD):  $11,700,000.00
Closing Date & Time:                 30 January, 2019 5.00 pm (ACT Local Time)
For more information about this grant opportunity, click here.


ARC Outcomes 2019

RMIT University has received over $5.7m
in Australian Research Council funding for 15 projects, supporting research across fields
including photonic circuit technologies, data analytics, cryopreservation & liquid metal
chemistry. Some of the new Discovery
Projects include:
  • revealing the 3D nanostructure of disordered matter with x-rays for the first time;
  • investigating the impact of global streaming services like Netflix on Australian TV markets;
  • developing algorithms to predict the 'unpredictable'.
RMIT also has 5 new DECRA fellows. They'll be working on projects ranging from fighting noise pollution to developing new optoelecric devices and creating interactive systems to encourage mindful eating.
Well done!


Internal Capability Building


Strategic cross-disciplinary meeting on optical sensors and personalized medicine

A joint mini symposium between the
translational immunology and nanotechnology
unit, led by Professor Magdalena Plebanski and
the Director of the Macro-Nano Research Facility, Distinguished, Professor Arnan Mitchell, was
held on Friday 19 November, 2018. The
symposium was attended by several leading researchers including Professor Laura lechuga, Group Leader for Nanobiosensors and
Bioanalytical applications (Vall D'Hebron
University Hospital, Barcelona) and 
Dr. Taff Morgan, External Advisory Board
Member for the Micro-Nano Research
Facility at Open University (UK),
Dr Boaz Kogon (RMIT Barcelona) as well
as PhD students and ECRs.

The meeting was also attended by members of both research laboratories. Researchers presented their capabilities to advance the nanotechnology and biosensor platforms. The meeting ended with a free discussion leading to several potential collaborative research projects.

Funding Opportunities with RMIT Europe

We are closely working with Susan Feitoza, Business Development Associate at RMIT Europe to provide her with our affiliates’ research capabilities, their industry partners and collaborations in Europe. We now have quick access to this information, making it easier to create a fully prepared application on behalf of our researchers at RMIT University, Australia. If you have yet to send us details about your current research or capabilities, send your email by clicking here.
We are still collating capabilities of infectious diseases, cancer, digital health and vaccines for future funding rounds. If you have yet to provide us with your capabilities in this area, add your details by clicking here - Mapping capabilities of infectious diseases and vaccines and/or here - Cancer and Inflammatory Diseases - BHI ECP form.
If you are interested in knowing more about what RMIT Europe can do for you, watch this video from Susan Feitoza and Gareth McNaughton. To view, click this link -

We'll keep you updated with the funding opportunities available via RMIT Europe for 2019!!


Local Research

Investigating Sleep Systems to achieve better sleeping microenvironments

Associate Professor Olga Troynikov (School of Fashion & Textiles) is leading a research team
that is investigating sleep systems with the
aim of creating more effective and improved
sleeping microenvironments. The research
involves a cluster of projects addressing
different thermal bedding microenvironments, ambient sleeping conditions, the sleepers'
interaction with the metabolic heat and sweat production and resultant comfort levels.

Collaborating with a leading European research institution, this team is working towards improving sleep bedding systems to assist
in providing sleep quality that will maximize
human recovery and improve cognitive
processes. Those who will benefit from
this include athletes, babies and children,
shift workers, ageing population, patients
recovering from illness and those with
clinical sleep disorders.

To view the entire article, click here.
Pictured above:  Dr Nazia Nawaz sets up an experiment in a
climatic chamber using the thermal articulated manikin, Newton.


(Melbourne Ageing
Research Collaboration)

As a joint initiative, the Design & Creative Practice ECP together with the Social Change and Biomedical & Health Innovation ECPs have recently become members with MARC, (Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration), the research collaboration platform for the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI).

MARC’s four current focus areas for the research undertaken by the consortium are:  falls prevention, end of life/palliative care, dementia and healthy ageing. We have created a mailing list to share information about MARC opportunities and events.

To join the mailing list, contact Esther Pierini by clicking here.
In the Media

Articles about RMIT and its researchers feature in many forms of the media. Here are some recent ones.


New technology to reduce patient falls from bed.

ANSTO's Synchrotron study could revolutionise
radiotherapy treatment.

Sugar, a 'sweet' tool to understand brain injuries.

Colour-change wristbands can track your sun exposure.

5 ways to reset your sleep cycle

PODCAST:  The science of sleep and the economic impact of not getting enough


Newsletter Contributions

If you have items of interest for the next Biomedical and Health Innovation ECP Newsletter, please send your information to Michelle.



Interested in registering as an ECP Affiliate? Do you know someone who is? Just click here to register. You can send the link to someone you know who would like to join the ECPs.
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