SPHERE: Announcement of $6Million Investment to Continue Clinical Innovation and Deliver Improved Healthcare

The Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) (opens in a new window) has announced that the Australian Government’s new Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will provide $6 million funding over three years for SPHERE and the other National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Accredited Centres.

Western Sydney University is a founding partner of SPHERE, comprising 14 leading organisations in the health, research and education sectors and aims to develop new and innovative ways to deliver better healthcare for communities in NSW. It was officially launched as an NHMRC accredited Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres (AHRTCs) in Sydney in April 2017.

SPHERE, also known by its Dharug name Maridulu Budyari Gumal, is a key partnership for Western and THRI as we build our research profile and impact reach. In the past year, SPHERE activities have gained momentum through the establishment of 12 Clinical Academic Groups (CAGs) and key strategic programs that are working to address major health challenges in areas including Aboriginal health and wellbeing, ageing, diabetes, and maternal, newborn and women’s health.

In just over 12 months, SPHERE has already made some significant breakthroughs and advancements that reflect the power of bringing together people who were previously in unconnected groups, to focus on real world consumer and community-driven issues and outcomes. These achievements also reflect the focus of SPHERE’s partners in both the academic and healthcare worlds on the “research translation to impact” agenda that is an important piece in Australia’s health and medical research policy.

The Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Clinical Academic Group (DOMS), co-lead by Western’s Professor David Simmons, is one of these impressive developments. DOMS brings together expertise from across SPHERE’s organisations and drives new and innovative programs for the prevention, treatment and management of complications of diabetes and obesity. One such program, the Diabetes Contraception and Pre-Pregnancy Planning (DCAPP) will ensure that women with diabetes are aware of the risks surrounding pregnancy, and provides them with multi-disciplinary support and care to help them minimise these risks. It aims to reach every woman with diabetes of child-bearing age in south-western Sydney.

Professor Chris Levi, Executive Director of SPHERE said, “One of the key goals of the partnership is to accelerate the path of promising and potentially lifesaving research into clinical practice. This investment will allow us to continue to harness the expertise, knowledge and innovation of Australia’s leading minds in health, education and research to deliver solutions to major health challenges.”

For further information on how to contribute to SPHERE and its programs through Western, please contact James Kemp at j.kemp@westernsydney.edu.au