A unique experience in an exceptional time

A unique experience in an exceptional time

Israeli paediatrician Dr Moran Almog returned to Israel in August 2020 after completing his 12-month AUSiMED Research Fellowship in Cardiac Embryology at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI) in Sydney.

Moran’s Fellowship was made possible by the generous support of the Lowy Foundation.

Moran describes his Fellowship experience as, ‘a unique experience during an exceptional time.’

He spent a year in Sydney with his family enjoying the cutting-edge research facilities at the VCCRI and learning advanced genomic analysis skills under the supervision of Professor Sally Dunwoodie.

When most VCCRI employees were requested to work from home in March 2020 due to COVID 19, Moran continued his research activities from home. According to Professor Dunwoodie, despite the restricted personal interactions and limited access to the lab, Moran gained the knowledge required to assemble and run a genetic program focused on congenital heart disease. He also formed a clinical and research network of expert clinicians, computer scientists and the experimental biologists that he can draw upon as he works to establish a similar research program in Israel.

Professor Dunwoodie also credited Moran for being a wonderful ambassador for Israel saying,

“I personally really valued the conversations that he and I had about Israel and I know that my colleagues did also.”

AUSiMED wishes Moran great success in his career in paediatric cardiology in Israel.

AUSiMED tribute to Sam Smorgon AO

AUSiMED tribute to Sam Smorgon AO

Mr Sam Smorgon AO OBM, was a renowned businessman, an extraordinarily generous philanthropist and great friend and supporter of AUSiMED. As a philanthropist Sam gave freely of his time and energy in addition to providing financial support to a wide variety of Jewish and general community causes including serving as Chancellor of RMIT and being the number 1 male ticketholder at Carlton Football Club for many years.

Thanks to the unparalleled generosity and commitment of Sam and Minnie Smorgon and their family, AUSiMED has supported the Goshen Project in Israel since 2014. Goshen is working to ensure optimal development and wellbeing of children and families by transforming the delivery of paediatric healthcare in Israel — particularly in disadvantaged communities. 

Over six years, AUSiMED has supported the establishment of Goshen programs in Israel, Fellowships for two Israeli paediatricians to receive training in Community Paediatrics with Prof Frank Oberklaid at the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital and the expansion of Goshen’s programs in disadvantaged communities in the Negev and in northern Israel.

Sam Smorgon’s life-time commitment to Israel and to looking after disadvantaged children will have an enduring impact on Israel’s future.

Strengthening Ties Between Monash University and Israeli Universities

Strengthening Ties Between Monash University and Israeli Universities

In a first-time visit to Israel, Professor Christina Mitchell, Dean of Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences (MNHS), was introduced to her academic and research peers at universities and medical institutions in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa in September 2019.

The trip was made possible by AUSiMED’s Israel Short-stays Program with the support of a grant from the Besen Family Foundation. The trip was organised by AUSiMED with assistance from the Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce in Israel.

After returning to Australia, Professor Mitchell said, “I was struck by the dynamic, and active medical research sector and the high quality of the universities. The close links that the universities have with industry and the focus on innovation was very impressive.”

Professor Mitchell was accompanied by Monash University Professor Ross Coppel, Faculty of MNHS Deputy Dean and Director of Research. They were introduced to senior medical academics, bio-medical scientists and technology transfer experts at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, Rambam Medical Center and the Technion Technology Institute. As a result of this trip, Monash University is now working on new ways to promote research and teaching collaborations with Israeli universities.

Building biomedical bridges

Building biomedical bridges

In June 2019, Professor Sally McArthur became the first senior University researcher to take part in AUSiMED’s Academic Israel Short-stays Program. The program, which was supported by the Besen Family Foundation, is fabulous vehicle for Victorian university leaders in the field of biomedical sciences to explore potential partnerships between Australian and Israeli universities, research institutions and medical technology companies.

 Sally McArthur is Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Swinburne University of Technology; Director of Medical Device Partnering Program in Victoria, and a CSIRO Science Leader in Biomedical Manufacturing. Her research focuses on the development of 4D in vitro cell culture systems for applications in health and medical research.

After her AUSiMED trip to Israel, Prof McArthur reported, “The really exciting part was understanding where the gaps are. I met Israeli researchers looking for commercial partners and I was able to instantly connect them to Australian companies with med-tech manufacturing facilities looking for new products.  There is an interesting dichotomy where researchers come to Australia for clinical trials because our clinicians are amazing and really well respected as leaders for medical device uptake and as key opinion leaders. Israel is recognised more for the technology and so the technology scouts from the big multi-nationals, that don’t come to Australia, go to Israel looking for technologies.”

Since her trip to Israel, Professor McArthur has been working with parties in Israel on creating a bridge for taking ideas from Australia and getting them early stage validated in Israel.