University of Melbourne
Established in 1853, the University of Melbourne is a public-spirited institution that makes distinctive contributions to society in research, learning and teaching and engagement. It's consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world, with international rankings of world universities placing it as number 1 in Australia and number 33 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015).
Royal Melbourne Hospital
The Royal Melbourne Hospital is the oldest hospital in Victoria, Australia, built just prior to the gold rush era that led to a boom in Melbourne's population. RMH City Campus first began as The Melbourne Hospital in 1848 and RMH Royal Park Campus as the Immigrants' Aid Society in 1853.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital is a privileged member of Melbourne's world-leading Parkville Precinct, and enjoys strong relationships with many of the city's major universities and research institutes.
There are a number of exciting developments underway, including the co-location of the new Royal Women's Hospital at the RMH City Campus site, the development of integrated cancer services and joint projects with community providers to improve service delivery to the communities we serve.
Austin Hospital Infectious Diseases Department
The Austin Health Infectious Diseases Department provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient infectious diseases services to Austin Health as well as to a number of regional hospitals in Victoria. It has close links with the Diagnostic Microbiology Department at Austin Health. We have dual-trained infectious diseases physicians and medical microbiologists on staff. We also work closely with the Communicable Diseases Unit, Department of Health, the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory, the University of Melbourne Departments of Microbiology and Immunology and the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit (now co-located at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Parkville).
The Austin Health Infectious Diseases Department is the co-ordinating centre for Hand Hygiene Australia and has a very active research program aimed at addressing clinically relevant infectious disease problems. The Department has many active collaborations with basic researchers in Australia and overseas.
The Alfred Department of Infectious Diseases
The service offers expertise in general infectious diseases (eg pneumonia, meningitis, urogenital infection, cellulitis), tuberculosis, respiratory infections, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmissible infections, and travel related infections. The unit also specialises in antibiotic usage, infection control, and HIV palliative and continuing care. The service incorporates the Statewide HIV/AIDS Service.
Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic (MSHC)
Melbourne Sexual Health Centre has been in operation since 1917. In this time it has established a reputation of excellence and innovation. As the service has become more and more sophisticated, so has its importance as a principal centre for the training of medical undergraduates and medical and nursing postgraduates as well as other health professionals. This important role is enhanced by the appointment of a Professor/Director in late 1999 which provided an important stimulus for research activities at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre.
An agreement between the Commonwealth and State Governments provides ongoing funding which establishes a sound basis for continuing development and prevention of STIs and HIV infection. In 2003, the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre joined with the Alfred Health network which incorporates The Alfred - home to a large Infectious Diseases Unit including the State's HIV/AIDS service. MSHC and The Alfred work in close collaboration to ensure the ongoing high quality STI and HIV/ AIDS services across both sites.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
On 1 January 2015, the Victorian Government established the Department of Health & Human Services, bringing together the former Department of Health, Department of Human Services and Sport and Recreation Victoria.
The department has been established to develop and deliver policies, programs and services that support and enhance the wellbeing of all Victorians. We take a broad view of the causes of ill health, the drivers of good health, the social and economic context in which people live, and of the incidence and experience of vulnerability. This allows us to place people at the heart of policy-making, service design and delivery.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)
FSANZ develops standards that regulate the use of ingredients, processing aids, colourings, additives, vitamins and minerals. The Code also covers the composition of some foods, e.g. dairy, meat and beverages as well as standards developed by new technologies such as genetically modified foods. We are also responsible for some labelling requirements for packaged and unpackaged food, e.g. specific mandatory warnings or advisory labels.
The Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR)
ESR (The Institute of Environmental Science and Research) is a Government-owned Crown Research Institute that delivers world class knowledge, research and laboratory services to help New Zealand get the best out of its investment in science and innovation.
We use the power of science to help their partners and clients solve complex problems and protect people and products in New Zealand, and around the world.
It's our science that lies behind the decisions that safeguard people's health, protect our food-based economy, improve the safety of our freshwater and groundwater resources and provide the justice sector with expert forensic science.
OzFoodNet undertake surveillance and investigations of foodborne disease in Australia in conjunction with jurisdictions. In 2012-13, OzFoodNet conducted an outbreak investigation of listeriosis with 34 cases, from six jurisdictions identified linked to products from a Victorian manufacturer of soft cheese. OzFoodNet liaised with state and territory authorities, the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia, and Food Standards Australia and New Zealand to identify the link between the consumption of soft cheese and these cases. Data from OzFoodNet's National Enhanced Listeriosis Surveillance System was used to identify and monitor this outbreak.
OzFoodNet also continues to gather evidence on outbreaks of gastroenteritis associated with the consumption of raw or minimally cooked eggs. Foods commonly served with an uncooked raw egg ingredient such as chocolate mousse, tiramisu and sauces (aioli and mayonnaise) have been linked to outbreaks of salmonellosis. Data from the OzFoodNet Outbreak Register show that in 2011, around 20% of the outbreaks investigated by OzFoodNet were linked to the use of raw or minimally cooked egg.
OzFoodNet is part of a World Health Organization capacity building network – Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) that was formerly known as Global SalmSurv. GFN supports laboratory-based surveillance of foodborne diseases, by teaching epidemiologists and laboratory scientists to conduct surveillance for foodborne infections and investigate outbreaks.
Australian Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (AGAR)
AGAR is a unique collaboration of clinicians and scientists from major microbiology laboratories around Australia. AGAR tests and gathers information on the level of antibiotic resistance in bacteria causing important and life threatening infections around Australia. The group started in 1985 and at that time involved 13 teaching hospitals. It has subsequently grown to involve 30 institutions including 4 private laboratories. This broadening of the group has meant that not only does the group have good information as to what is happening with major pathogens in the larger teaching hospitals in each State and Territory, but now also has the ability to monitor what is happening with resistance rates in private hospitals and with patients in the community being treated by General Practitioners.
Just about every bacterial infection causing serious infections both in the community and in hospitals has been monitored. The main focus of the group has been antimicrobial resistance in Staphylococcus aureus (indeed the group started with the name The Staph. Awareness Group) but since that time has broadened to include studies on E. coli, Enterobacter spp., Klebsiella spp., Haemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Enterococcus spp.
Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initaitive (VLSCI)
The VLSCI is a $100m initiative of the Victorian Government in partnership with The University of Melbourne and the IBM Life Sciences Research Collaboratory, Melbourne. Other major stakeholders include key Victorian health and medical research institutions, major Universities and public research organisations. It exists for all Victorian Life Sciences researchers and their collaborators.
This important project is enhancing Victoria's international standing in Life Sciences by positioning researchers at the cutting edge of this growing discipline, nurturing future leaders in these fields and creating a magnet to attract industry to Victoria. The outcomes for the broader Victorian community will be the generation of new knowledge leading to improved medical and health outcomes.
VLSCI offers a number of key resources including:
- A high performance computation facility accessible to all Victorian Life Sciences researchers and staffed by technical experts who will maximise the user experience. The Facility is now operating at over 855 teraflops.
- A Life Sciences Computation Centre operating from three research hubs based in Melbourne's Central (Parkville), South East (Clayton) and North (Bundoora) Precincts. These hubs have been created to meet the skills gaps in research teams, build the necessary cross-disciplinary research collaborations and provide skills to scale up projects to efficiently use the processing power being delivered.
- Ongoing skills development and training to nurture computational biology, computational imaging and bioinformatics expertise for research and industry.
- A communications strategy for highlighting the benefits of such research to the public, industry and government.
Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference laboratory (VIDRL)
VIDRL is a leading Australian infectious diseases reference laboratory located in Melbourne, Victoria. VIDRL is now part of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (the Doherty). VIDRL provides the Victorian Department of Health with virology and Mycobacteria public health reference laboratory services, including surveillance, outbreak investigations, reference testing and research. VIDRL also performs diagnostic testing, mainly in virology, for Victorian hospitals. VIDRL has national reference laboratory designations to the Commonwealth Department of Health for polio and enteroviruses, measles, viral haemorrhagic fevers and smallpox. VIDRL also has a strong commitment to international health programs through WHO now in its 47th year. VIDRL has WHO Collaborating Centre designations for Reference and Research on Influenza, Mycobacterium ulcerans, and Biosafety together with WHO Regional Reference Laboratory designations for poliovirus, measles and hepatitis B, and is a WHO National Influenza Centre.
Dr Kathryn Holt
Kathryn Holt obtained a double degree BA/BSc at the University of Western Australia, majoring in biochemistry, applied statistics and philosophy.She then undertook Honours in genetics on a bioinformatics project that focused on plant gene expression. After a short stint in the Bioinformatics Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Kathryn completed a PhD in molecular biology at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge, focusing on pathogen genome sequencing.
In 2009 Kathryn returned to Australia to take up an NHMRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. While working as a research fellow, she undertook a Masters in Epidemiology at the university, graduating in 2011.
In late 2012, Kat was recruited to a lab head position in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Melbourne, and established a lab at the Bio21 Institute. The Holt lab is a computational lab based in the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne, which works closely with collaborators in other research, public health and hospital labs to develop projects and generate data. they use a combination of phylogenetics, sequence analysis, comparative genomics, spatiotemporal analysis and epidemiological methods to analyse and interpret the data. Much of this is done using high performance computing. Kathryn Holt's research interests include: pathogen genomics and bioinformatics, bacterial populations and bacterial communities.
A/ Prof Martyn Kirk
Martyn Kirk is currently an Associate Professor and Head of the Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology (MAE) program offered by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University. The MAE is the Australian Field Epidemiology Training Program. He has worked for over twenty years in State and Territory, and federal health departments in the areas of food, water and infectious diseases. In 2000, he was appointed as the Coordinating Epidemiologist of OzFoodNet to establish a national network for the investigation of foodborne diseases. he is an alumni of the MAE Program, which he completed in 1997. He have consulted for the World Health Organization on gastrointestinal diseases and am a member of the WHO advisory body - the Foodborne Disease Epidemiology Reference Group. he is a member of the Communicable Diseases Network Australia and an adjunct lecturer at the Monash University Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.
Martyn's research interests focus on the epidemiology of diseases that may be transmitted by contaminated food or water. I am also interested in diseases that are environmentally mediated.
Future Partnering Opportunities
Doherty Applied Microbial Genomics has established a network of partners who will perform research directly relevant to establishing microbial genomics as a routine tool for public health and clinical microbiology in Australia. However, We are always open to new partnering opportunities. If you are interested in becoming a partner in this initiative please contact us to discuss your research interests and alignment with the initiative's objectives.
We hope that together we can help to improve the health and wellbeing of the Australian population.