Research Strengths banner - Clinical Sciences & Experimental Medicine

Clinical sciences and experimental medicine are at the heart of finding new and improved approaches for the detection, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of clinically-significant diseases and disabilities and in translating these new approaches into healthcare practice. UQ research in clinical sciences and experimental medicine is at the forefront of healthcare innovation and translation and occurs through a distributed network of researchers based primarily in the School of Medicine, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, School of Biomedical Sciences, UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute, UQ Diamantina Institute and Mater Research Institute - UQ (MRI-UQ). This network brings together researchers, clinicians, healthcare practitioners and service providers to develop cross-disciplinary knowledge platforms that inform clinical practice and policy and deliver innovative solutions to meet recognised healthcare needs.

To facilitate translation, UQ’s clinical sciences and experimental medicine is embedded in major hospital campuses (including the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, the Princess Alexandra Hospital, the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Prince Charles Hospital, and the Mater Hospital) and is integral to the nascent Diamantina Health Partners and Mayne Health Alliance academic health sciences centres. This embedding provides unique opportunities for rapid development, clinical evaluation and implementation advances in health care. Purpose built – NATA – accredited R&D facilities that conform to international standards deliver regulatory ready data to achieve higher R&D efficiencies, return on investment and reduced product time-to-market. Clinical sciences research at UQ is also enabled by world-class imaging facilities.

UQ’s network of researchers in clinical sciences and experimental medicine is strongly engaged with influential healthcare centres, institutions and industry alike. These include the World Health Organization (WHO); National Institutes of Health (NIH); Canadian Institute of Health Research; The Institute for Cancer Research London; major pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, GSK and Novartis; Imperial College London; National Hospital Singapore; Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen; Clinica Davila, Santiago; Therapeutics Innovation Australia; Medtronics; Siemens; ABSciex; Utrecht Health Sciences Centre, The Netherlands; and Helsinki Children’s Hospital, among others. In addition to cancer studies, immunology and infectious diseases, and medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical sciences, which are separately recognised as research strengths of UQ, national and international leadership in clinical science and experimental medicine is also provided in fields such as paediatrics, neurology, rehabilitation, and cardiovascular and reproductive medicine. 

CLINICAL SCIENCES AND EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE IN BRIEF

  • More than 245 full-time equivalent researchers
  • More than 640 PhD and MPhil students in 2014
  • More than 5000 publications since 2008
  • More than $285 million in research funding since 2008
  • Medicine research ranked 33rd in the world in QS World University Rankings by Subject 2013
  • Clinical Sciences and Cardiovascular Medicine and Haematology research rated at the highest level – well above world standard – in the 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia exercise. Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine research rated at above world standard.

Highlights of UQ CLINICAL SCIENCES AND EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE

Cardiovascular, liver and kidney research using molecular and physiological approaches to discover new drugs and devices for clinical problems 

Research into Cardiovascular Disease with a strong translational focus is undertaken by a number of groups across the main hospitals in Brisbane, including the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Prince Charles Hospital, and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Programs receive strong support from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), National Heart Foundation and the individual hospital Foundations, and many collaborating international Centres. Liver, kidney and metabolic research is particularly strong amongst researchers in the Princess Alexandra Centres for Health Research, which consist of researchers jointly appointed between UQ and the hospital. Diabetes research is a particular strength of MRI-UQ. UQ’s vision in all cases is to achieve translational outcomes in a true ‘bench-to-bedside’ approach. 

Paediatric research delivering improved health outcomes for children, from neonatal to adolescent 

Neonatology at UQ has a track record of high quality sustained outputs in perinatal and neonatal research. A key competitive advantage is access to two of the nation’s largest neonatal units and world-class research infrastructure. This includes Australia’s first MRI compatible neonatal incubator to allow brain imaging in sick very preterm infants and the new Herston Imaging Research Facility with dedicated clinical research MRI.

The Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute (QCMRI) is a child and adolescent health-focused research concentration. QCMRI receives significant support from its partner organisations, Children’s Health Foundation Queensland and Queensland Health’s Children’s Health Service. QCMRI has research strengths in the areas of respiratory medicine, infectious diseases, burns and trauma, nutrition, indigenous health, oncology, diabetes, children’s health and the environment, and online health with researchers working in the fields of basic biomedical science, clinical and population health research and population health research. 

Reproductive medicine developing innovative diagnostics and clinical approaches

Development of in vitro diagnostics: The Centre for Clinical Diagnostics (CCD) was established to develop, evaluate and deliver new in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) within a NATA accredited research and development environment. CCD targets the development of novel, targeted diagnostic tests. Current developments include IVDs for antenatal risks assessment and the diagnosis of preterm labour.

Preconception and early pregnancy health: Through a network of primary care providers, GP super clinics and national and international tertiary care hospitals, researchers and clinicians based at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR) are implementing and evaluating new approaches to improve preconception health and wellbeing, risk assessment and personalised intervention strategies to improve pregnancy outcomes for both mothers and babies.

The Perinatal Research Centre focuses on clinical problems in the perinatal period with research activities from pre-clinical models to translational research. A key focus is the prevention or amelioration of the most expensive of the adverse health outcomes in obstetrics and neonatology, namely maternal diabetes and obesity in pregnancy, along with adverse neonatal outcomes, particularly brain injury and neurodevelopmental disorders. This is facilitated by collaborations with UQ’s Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre.

Rehabilitation research bridging the gap between basic science and clinical practice 

Development of in vitro diagnostics: The Centre for Clinical Diagnostics (CCD) was established to develop, evaluate and deliver new in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) within a NATA accredited research and development environment. CCD targets the development of novel, targeted diagnostic tests. Current developments include IVDs for antenatal risks assessment and the diagnosis of preterm labour.

Preconception and early pregnancy health: Through a network of primary care providers, GP super clinics and national and international tertiary care hospitals, researchers and clinicians based at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR) are implementing and evaluating new approaches to improve preconception health and wellbeing, risk assessment and personalised intervention strategies to improve pregnancy outcomes for both mothers and babies.

The Perinatal Research Centre focuses on clinical problems in the perinatal period with research activities from pre-clinical models to translational research. A key focus is the prevention or amelioration of the most expensive of the adverse health outcomes in obstetrics and neonatology, namely maternal diabetes and obesity in pregnancy, along with adverse neonatal outcomes, particularly brain injury and neurodevelopmental disorders. This is facilitated by collaborations with UQ’s Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre. 

The Clinical Sciences and Experimental Medicine at UQ brochure is available at:
Clinical Sciences and Experimental Medicine

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