The burden of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer is escalating across the globe, while endemic and emerging infectious diseases are overwhelming health systems in under-resourced countries.
More effective drugs, vaccines, health monitoring and community-level intervention programs are needed to safeguard human lives and community wellbeing. This Platform brings together hundreds of highly respected, cross-disciplinary experts who are passionately committed to addressing innovatively the rising health challenges in our society.
The research skills and competencies within this ECP can be applied to any sector or organisation, regardless of size or stage of development. The primary areas where our expertise will be directed are indicated below.
Rapid advances in medical technology, big data, disease prevention and smarter systems offer exciting opportunities to put future healthcare into the hands of the people.
Research and innovation priorities
Our partnerships will pursue fundamental and applied research in ageing, developing:
- new understanding of ageing biology
- innovative therapies, diagnostics and monitoring tools for diseases in the elderly: cancers, musculoskeletal, inflammatory, cognitive
- improvements and leap innovations in areas of need in existing health care models, and
- optimised, practical and comprehensive community interventions such as vaccinations, drugs and lifestyle changes
Population growth and urbanisation
We will drive understanding of how urbanisation impacts human health by researching:
- respiratory health and pollution
- working and living in stressful environments
- public health and abnormal behaviour, and
- the prevention, early detection, treatment and amelioration of urban diseases
Regional and global citizenship
We will focus on:
- Indigenous and regional health in Australia
- global disease, epidemics and pandemics
- endemic and emerging infectious diseases, and
- biosecurity and biodiversity
4.0 revolution and personalised medicine
We will focus on the opportunities arising from:
- the omics revolution: to provide individually tailored health interventions
- the digital revolution: to empower remote health monitoring and communication across patients and healthcare providers
- the 4D printing and nanomaterials revolution
Key application areas
- Personalised or precision medicine
- Integrated healthcare
- Medical practice, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment
- Public health care, disease prevention and control
- Pharmaceutical and vaccine innovation
- Government and public policy
- Health sustaining living environments
- Remote monitoring
Fetal growth restriction (FGR) research
RMIT is partnering with two Melbourne hospitals to create a world-first aerosol pharmaceutical intervention to treat babies born after fetal growth restriction (FGR). FGR is a global health problem and babies born after FGR often suffer brain damage and lifelong disability for which there is no treatment. Also, there are no treatments that improve placental function, and clinicians have limited options for treating outcomes of an FGR pregnancy. The options of treating these small, under-developed babies are few and intrusive. The project aims to develop a patent-ready, portable, low-cost, easy-to-use device to deliver DITPA non-invasively as an aerosol into the airways or nasal passages of FGR infants. If successful, this will have worldwide application and transform medical practice by providing a much-needed treatment for neonatal brain injury.
Microbeam radiotherapy cancer research
A collaborative partnership has been established between leading Australian and international researchers who specialise in microbeam radiotherapy and immunotherapy. This innovative partnership is developing protocols for potentially revolutionary new cancer treatments. Synchrotron Microbeam Radiotherapy (MRT) is an experimental form of radiotherapy that is fundamentally different to conventional radiotherapy (CRT). MRT uses small beam sizes and extreme dose rates. There is emerging evidence from pre-clinical studies that these different physical parameters increase the body’s tolerance to radiation treatments and the ability to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer tumours.