New Baker Department at La Trobe

La Trobe University and renowned medical research institute, the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, have strengthened their research collaborations by announcing a new Baker Department of Cardiovascular Research, Translation and Implementation.

Based at La Trobe, this new Department consolidates a long-term research affiliation and will cement a closer interaction between staff from La Trobe University and the Baker Institute through staff appointments, collaborative research activities, joint training, scholarship support of research higher degree students and translation of research into practice, policy, and education.

The partnership seeks to make a global impact on the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and related conditions by working together to create opportunities and environments for researchers to excel and research capacities to grow.

In particular, the partnership aims to:

  • Build interdisciplinary collaborations to enhance the scope, volume, and quality of cardiovascular, diabetes and related research
  • Provide access to organisational research resources, facilities, support, and infrastructure to strengthen research
  • Broaden access to health service and research networks, including via local and rural collaborations already developed by each organisation
  • Facilitate the presence of a major medical research institute in the northern suburbs of Melbourne; a community disproportionately affected by chronic illness including cardiometabolic disease.

The new Department, which will be headed by Baker Institute cardiometabolic researcher, Professor Peter Meikle, aims to enhance links to basic, clinical and computational science across cardiovascular, diabetes and related research.

Professor Brian Oldenburg will also join the Department as a Professor of Public Health and Implementation Science. Professor Oldenburg holds an honorary appointment with the Baker Institute, an appointment with La Trobe University’s School of Psychology and Public Health and is the Director of La Trobe University’s Academic Research Collaboration in Health (ARCH) at The Alfred and the Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in Digital Technology to Transform Chronic Diseases.

The new Baker Department of Cardiovascular Research, Translation and Implementation, will join four other large Departments within the newly-named School of Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environment at La Trobe University, which will be formally implemented in January 2022. The other Departments are: Biochemistry and Chemistry; Microbiology, Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology; Animal, Plant and Soil Sciences, and Environment and Genetics.

La Trobe University Vice Chancellor, Professor John Dewar AO said: “We are proud that La Trobe is now home to the Baker Institute Department of Cardiovascular Research, Translation and Implementation. The Department will consolidate and strengthen an already fruitful affiliation between the two organisations and will undoubtedly enhance the research outputs in the prevention of heart disease.”

Baker Institute Director, Professor Tom Marwick said: “The Baker Institute is committed to enhancing the cardiometabolic health of our communities, including working in high-risk areas in Melbourne’s north. This partnership will help our efforts to better understand and prevent disease, to improve clinical practice and to help Australians to live healthier for longer.”

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