Research breakthrough puts Shire-based foundation in the medical spotlight

St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation Chief Executive Officer Jacquie Stratford
St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation Chief Executive Officer Jacquie Stratford

This year promises to be an exciting one for researchers at St George and Sutherland Hospitals with the establishment of the Microbiome Research Centre.

In 2017 the St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation received a grant from the Federal Government to support core research personnel and the refurbishment of a suite of laboratories at St George Hospital. In addition, in October 2017, the Foundation was awarded six inaugural research grants.

Improved understanding of the microbiome is the most exciting development in medicine over the past decade and it impacts on all aspects of health and disease.

Though located at St George Hospital, the research centre will act as a hub of internationally competitive research rallying together multidisciplinary research groups at St George and Sutherland hospitals.

According to Emad El-Omar, Professor of Medicine UNSW and MRC Director (pictured left), our region has one of the biggest health and medical precincts in Australia, combining public and private hospitals and suites and services.

The centre will act as a magnet - attracting gifted researchers from across the world – and offer unrivalled opportunities for training and inspiring the next generation of researchers in medicine and allied health specialties.

The human gut is a unique niche that is home to trillions of microbes known as microbiota. Almost every system in the body is influenced by the microbiota and our health and wellbeing are dependent on having a diverse, balanced and healthy microbiota.  

Our population suffers particularly from modern western diseases such as obesity and its metabolic complications including diabetes, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, as well as cancer.

All these diseases have been shown to be directly linked to abnormalities in the microbiota.

The grant recipients are currently studying the effect of the microbiome in pregnancy, bowel cancer, head and neck cancer, clotting and thrombosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and inflammatory bowel diseases.

I am looking to the community and local businesses to ensure we create a world class research centre in our local hospital.

  • To learn more go to SSMRF.com.au.

St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation Chief Executive Officer Jacquie Stratford