Latest News

CMAP ambassadors

Human health connected to animals and environment

December 2015

Five years after the 1st International One Health Congress, Melbourne will again host the conference in 2016. This time the event will invite participants from the EcoHealth community to discuss the health of humans, animals and the environment.

The One Health movement believes that human and animal health is intricately linked and that the well-being of all species can be safeguarded by encouraging the collaboration of medical professionals, veterinarians and wildlife ecologist.

However, the One Heath approach has evolved beyond the containment of infectious diseases, such as SARS and HIV, which originated in animal species, to include the safety and security of our global food systems and our impact on the planet, which is why the congress will also be joined by the 6th Biennial Conference of the International Association for Ecology and Health.

Club Melbourne Ambassador Professor Martyn Jeggo, who is the Director of Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (GCEID), believes this is an important step as the discussion now includes an essential component – the environment.

“We have an impact on the environment just as much as the environment has an impact on us,” says Professor Jeggo.

Read more

Melbourne to welcome stem cell leaders in 2018

December 2015

The world’s leading stem cell researchers, physicians and government and health officials have chosen Melbourne as the place to exchange knowledge and share best practice. 

Victoria is the national leader for stem cell research, which has been recognised globally with this major win of the 16th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) in 2018, to be held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Club Melbourne Ambassadors played a vital role, going over and above to assist in securing this major business event for Victoria.

Read more

The changing face of surgery at ICOMS 2015

December 2015

The 22nd International Conference on Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery was held earlier this year at MCEC and featured a new approach using robots.

Around 1700 delegates from over 60 countries gathered at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) during the 27-30 October to attend ICOMS 2015. Not only were attendees exposed to leading speakers and the presentation of over 700 free papers, but they were also invited to activities and tours that highlighted the natural beauty of the state of Victoria.

Club Melbourne Ambassador David Wiesenfeld, who was the conference chair, said the educational highlight was demonstrating the use of robots for excision of cancer at the back of the mouth.

“Performing surgery to the back of the mouth is difficult and hard to reach. The robots having little arms are able to access this area more easily and with improved accuracy.”

Transoral robotic surgery is a relatively new approach, but it promises to be quite an effective alternative to chemotherapy and radiation. The reason why surgery to remove cancers in this area has not been more widely used in the past is that it can be quite invasive, requiring such things as the splitting of the mandible (jawbone) to expose specific areas.

Read more

Are we ready for Uber-versities?

September 2015

- Professor Linda Kristjanson - Digital Disruption and Academia: Universities will experience profound changes during the next ten years and some may not survive in the way they exist today.

Technology is changing the way we go about our daily lives. Entire industries are undergoing transformations as connectivity creates new ways of doing things.

As universities plan for the future, it is important to take note of the major economic and social transformations that changes in technology are bringing about around us.

Although advances in technology have always wrought change, the pace of change has intensified in the last few years. We are now seeing entire markets being re-imagined to be more responsive to consumers’ expectations.

The taxi industry is a case in point. Taxis enjoyed a virtual monopoly for decades in a market built on the idea that only tight government regulation was capable of protecting consumers. With relatively simple technology, Uber now provides a ride sharing service that has fundamentally challenged the status quo.

Using mapping technology available on every smart phone, Uber ensures that drivers need never get lost. By allowing consumers and drivers to rate each other’s performance, it has created greater accountability between market participants. It eliminates the need for customers to carry cash. Uber even has an answer for the vexed issue of supply and demand. Pricing floats according to demand with higher prices at peak times bringing out more drivers. Regulators have struggled to keep up because the ride-sharing model is so radical that no-one saw it coming.

Read more

How an engineer might be the answer to curing disease

September 2015

- Associate Professor Jonathan Shaw - In 10 years’ time, our current model of medical research may be superseded by cross-disciplinary collaboration involving specialists from a number of fields outside the medical sector.

So what does an engineer know about medical science? As much as I know about engineering, I would imagine, which is next to nothing. However, engineers have skills and knowledge that might benefit medical research.

Until recently, people within a medical discipline were self-contained, not only with the knowledge they had, but the research they were conducting. There is an increasing amount of evidence that suggests that this is not the most efficient way to tackle all medical research, mainly because this expertise does not support ‘out of the box’ solutions.

When you apply a cross-disciplinary approach, you can often find a new angle to tackle very complex problems. A medical research team working on respiratory medicine might involve experts on metabolic disease. This is what is called a multi-disciplinary approach, as the fields are different, but stay within the boundaries of medical science. This is nothing particularly new.

But what happens when you throw a completely different field of knowledge into the mix? In other words, a trans-disciplinary tactic. What can a mathematician, physicist or engineer possible contribute to medical science?

Read more