National Health and Medical Research Symposium - Future Health Challenges for Australia — ASN Events
4:30PM - 6:30PM
Riverbank 1-3
Chair: James Best

Welcome from CEO NHMRC: Prof Warwick Anderson

Opening message: The Honourable Tanya Plibersek

Welcome to Country Speaker: Uncle Lewis O’Brien

Chair – Prof James Best

Prof Andrew Biankin

Genetics and Personalised Medicine

Prof Steven Nicholls

Cardiovascular Disease

Prof David James

Diabetes and Obesity

Prof Helen Christensen

Mental Health

Prof Sandra Eades

Indigenous Health

Prof John Hopwood

Translational Research

All would agree that good health is our most important asset and that engagement in life and its enjoyment depend on the state of our health. The areas of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, and mental ill health are very important health challenges for the Australian population, that reduce both the quality and length of life. But the burden from these illnesses is not evenly spread through the population. Indigenous Australians are affected disproportionately, raising the broader issue of the social determinants of health and providing a challenge that includes but is not limited to the healthcare system. Understanding through health and medical research the basis of human illness, from a molecular to a societal level, is the first step to improved prevention and treatment.

The conditions of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity and mental ill health are now well known to overlap in their clinical manifestations and in their aetiology. Based on extensive basic and clinical research, discoveries in recent years have demonstrated efficacy in preventive and therapeutic measures. How to take full advantage of those discoveries by translating them into effective treatment at the population level remains a research challenge. How to target treatments to those most at risk and most likely to benefit, is also an important research question. I am sure that this opening session of the meeting will answer many of these questions but will raise even more.