Collaboration key for research translation

Research translation into evidence-based healthcare is key to the evolution and sustainability of clinical practice across all fields, entities, and time.

This unified objective is what drives researchers and clinicians to achieve bigger and better things, and is what has been recognised in the new Clinical Academic Groups (CAG) announced by Sydney Health Partners this week. 

Clinicians at our Network have been successful in establishing three new CAGs, which serve as a focus for Sydney Health Partners’ research translation activities in areas that align with priorities of the involved services. 

Each of the three CAGs has a 10-strong multidisciplinary team led by SCHN, bringing together expertise from diverse backgrounds within the healthcare system to work towards a key collaborative project on topics including Child and Adolescent Health, Genomics and Precision Medicine and Diabetes and Obesity. 

Professor Russell Dale, Clinical Director of the Kids Neuroscience Centre, and Clinical Professor Susan Woolfenden, Staff Specialist in Community Child Health, are co-chairs of the Child and Adolescent Health CAG.  

This partnership’s objective is to reduce inequities in access to high quality and comprehensive healthcare for children and adolescents from Priority Populations. 

“We will do this by critically evaluating and addressing the needs for children and adolescents in a collaboration between clinicians, researchers, and members of the community,” Professor Woolfenden said to Sydney Health Partners.  

“The CAG will enable rapid and sustainable translation of evidence to inform clinical practice and thus improve health outcomes.” 

Genomics and Precision Medicine is an emerging field offering much promise for disease prevention and cure, with recent advancements driven by the rapid progress in genomic sequencing and advanced therapeutics. 

The CAG is co-chaired by Professor Robyn Jamieson, Head of the Eye Genetics Research Unit at SCHN and CMRI, lead of OGCTA and Head, Specialty of Genomic Medicine, University of Sydney. It will address the lack of access to genomic diagnosis and precision therapies, which is a significant barrier to the broader translation of precision medicine into healthcare.  

“Being a whole new area of medicine compared with established fields, our CAG aims to develop a framework for broad implementations across NSW and Australia to make genetic testing and genetic therapies more available and accessible, including to regional areas,” Professor Jamieson said to Sydney Health Partners. 

Several members of this CAG are from SCHN, including Professor Jamieson, Dr Alan Ma, Professor John Grigg, Clinical Associate Professor Kristi Jones, Clinical Associate Professor Natalie Silove, Dr Hugh McCarthy, and Clinical Professor Bruce Bennetts. 

The Diabetes and Obesity CAG is co-chaired by Professor Louise Baur, Consultant Paediatrician and Chair of Children and Adolescent Health at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s Clinical School.

Bringing together researchers and clinicians from paediatric and adult health sites, the partnership provides a platform for collaborative research across the lifespan. The CAG has an equity focus, addressing the fairness of healthcare delivery for those living with diabetes and/or obesity.

Sydney Health Partners has also recognised the Child Neurodevelopment and Mental Health group, led by Professor Adam Guastella, Michael Crouch Chair in Child and Youth Mental Health, and Associate Professor Natalie Silove, Head of Child Development Unit at CHW, as a Developmental CAG. 

They will be supported with seed funding for the CAGs development and outreach across the Partnership, before being reviewed for full CAG status in 2023. 

Congratulations to all our clinicians involved in the new Sydney Health Partner’s CAGs.