HMRI and HVRF to collaborate more closely

Mar 3 2014

Professor Michael Nilsson, left, and Dr Brent Jenkins.

Professor Michael Nilsson, left, and Dr Brent Jenkins.

An expanded Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and the Hunter Valley Research Foundation (HVRF) will be signed at 2.30pm today.

HMRI Director, Professor Michael Nilsson, and HVRF CEO, Dr Brent Jenkins, will sign the MoU today to confirm agreed arrangements for the two iconic research organisations to collaborate more closely to benefit the health of the Hunter community and the nation.

Dr Brent Jenkins said the HVRF first negotiated a MoU with HMRI in 2010, to create a shared Health Research Economist role, which was filled by Professor Chris Doran. HVRF’s former Director of Research, A/Professor Andrew Searles, and research fellow Dr Rod Ling, have since joined the health research economics team.

“Our updated MoU marks a new level of cooperation between HMRI and HVRF,” Dr Jenkins said. “While our previous collaboration was specific to the health economics area, our new arrangement broadens the potential areas of interest in which we are able to interact.”

The Hunter Valley Research Foundation, while better known in the community for its economic and social research, has a strong health-related research arm, which is conducting high-quality and well-regarded research at the national level.

“I am keen to raise awareness of our outstanding health research capabilities,” Dr Jenkins said. “We are involved in conducting large, complex health studies at the Australian population level for multiple clients, including universities, government departments, the Cancer Institute and the Cancer Council. Our new arrangement with HMRI will enhance our capabilities to make a real impact on the health issues of the Hunter population.”

The Foundation is an associated member of Hunter Medicare Local and its research is supported by the Hunter New England Health Service and the University of Newcastle.

The new HVRF/HMRI model will allow for a Foundation researcher to be located in the HMRI building one day per week. Dr Clare Hogue, from the HVRF’s health research team, will assist on joint projects with HMRI and be available to consult HMRI researchers about HVRF health research capabilities.

“This MoU allows both HMRI and HVRF to identify and capture opportunities together, for the benefit of our regional stakeholders and the broader community,” Dr Jenkins said. “We look forward to developing some exciting initiatives in partnership with the wonderful pool of medical researchers and support staff at HMRI.”

Visit the Hunter Valley Research Foundation (HVRF) website