UQ leaders join Medical Research Future Fund advisory board

4 Apr 2016

The Federal Government has appointed two senior University of Queensland figures to the advisory board of the new $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.

Immunology researcher Professor Ian Frazer will be chairman, and UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj will join six other research and medical leaders on the board.

Health Minister Sussan Ley announced the board’s composition at the Translational Research Institutein Brisbane today.

Professor Frazer said the MRFF was a significant government investment in the health of Australia and the region, and in Australia’s future economic prosperity.  

“The board brings together a diversity of talent to lead discussion about priorities for medical research funding, and about the mechanisms for establishing and reviewing those priorities,” he said.

“This process will start with a round table hosted by the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in Sydney this month.”

Professor Frazer said areas identified through previous reviews and likely to be considered for funding included:

  • Health services research and public health research, to ensure Australia’s health system operated as efficiently and effectively as possible; 
  • Clinical trials from Australian medical research outputs, to ensure translation into clinical practice, and commercialisation where appropriate;  
  • Targeted research effort on health problems unique to Australia and the region.

Professor Frazer said funding provided through the MRFF should ensure that the considerable investment that had been made in research infrastructure across Australia could be matched by funding for research project delivery.

“This will lead to the practical benefits of better health, jobs, and economic growth,” he said.

Professor Høj said the MRFF’s priorities were interlinked with a strong ongoing commitment to basic research and its translation through multidisciplinary approaches to providing sustainable healthy benefits to Australia.

“The Translational Research Institute (TRI) is an excellent example of what can be achieved with a collaborative approach to medical research innovation and commercialisation,” he said.

The TRI is a partnership between UQ, the Queensland University of Technology, the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Mater Research.

Professor Høj said an encouraging level of international commercial interest in Australian medical and health research in recent years indicated an opportunity to further diversify Australia’s economy to attain resilience.

Other appointees to the MRFF advisory board are Professor Doug HiltonProfessor Karen ReynoldsProfessor Anne KelsoDr Deborah RathjenYasser El-Ansary, and Jennifer Williams.

Minister Ley's statement is here.

Contact: Fiona Cameron, UQ Communications, f.cameron2@uq.edu.au+61 7 3346 7086.