Welcome from Head of School

Welcome all to the latest issue of the School of Biomedical Sciences Newsletter. I would like to highlight some items in this issue.

In just a few weeks the School of Biomedical Sciences will have its third birthday! At the recent SBS End of Year Celebration, the Dean, Prof Shitj Kapur, acknowledged our success, and the great teamwork that underpins it. The progress of our new School has indeed been remarkable.

In the area of teaching and learning we can be proud of the numerous staff who won teaching awards and secured grants that will continue to foster innovation and excellence in this important domain. We have also significantly grown the Bachelor of Biomedicine and rehoused and revitalised the Biomed Student Society. In the recent VTAC "pop polls" the BBMED was the leader in terms of increased student interest. In the post-graduate area we have added a new Enterprise stream to the Master of Biomedical Sciences and partnered with Johns Hopkins University to deliver an international experience to our students. In terms of facilities, teaching and professional staff across several disciplines have put in a tremendous effort to finalise the design of the new Western Edge Bioscience building that is currently being built on the corner of Royal Parade and Tin Alley. The building will open in 2019 and include teaching facilities for the disciplines of Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience.

In terms of research, 2017 has been a particularly good year for our School with another record-breaking result in NHMRC grant outcomes.  Our success rate in ARC funding remains well above national average. I know that many of you submitted high quality applications that did not get funded and the outcome is always discouraging. While it is difficult to see how the success of others is the success of all, the reality is that people succeeded not just because they are very talented but because of the environment, their colleagues providing scientific input and the infrastructure. Therefore, whether you have been successful or not, the overall School success is the success of all. In addition, the stronger our School is, the more scope we have to support those research platforms, projects and ideas that we may collectively decide we will support, irrespective of the decisions of grant bodies.  In addition, Faculty will run bridging support and near-miss grant schemes, please make sure you apply to these. Prof Paul Gleeson always said that we are better than the sum of our parts, I could not agree more.

There is a lot to celebrate: the great research we do making many headlines, the number of our research and teaching staff receiving prestigious awards, and, in particular, the energy of our younger teaching and research staff and their successes in this year’s promotion round. I have to thank the Early and Mid Career Researcher’s Association (EMCRA) for their dynamic engagement across the School and their enthusiasm in joining forces to drive collaborative work. The School is committed to providing renewed support to EMCRA in 2018.

Nothing would work well without the contribution of our hard working and dedicated team of professional staff. Their role is challenging, due to our scale, extended infrastructure and the imminent large-scale construction work for the Metro rail. Thank you to Department, School and Faculty staff alike who contribute so much to our success.

My thanks to the Heads of Department and the Chairs of the School Committees for your support over the year. Your individual and collective talents and wisdom is deeply appreciated.

My thanks also go to our partners, elsewhere in the University, The University Executive and in particular Prof Jim McCluskey our DVCR for his continued support, and the Medical Research Institutes and hospitals supporting us through collaboration and exchange of ideas.

We should all be collectively very proud of what has been achieved. This has happened for a reason, because the School of Biomedical Sciences is our proud banner and we all rallied behind it.

Please enjoy reading our newsletter where we acknowledge your great work and talent.

Have a safe and restful break ready for 2018!

Very best wishes,