Adelaide a hub of life-changing health research and investment


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By Melissa Keogh

South Australia’s health research sector is among the best in the world, with its renowned infrastructure and applications of new and advanced technologies having a global impact.

The $3.8 billion Adelaide BioMed City in the heart of the CBD is one of the largest health and life science clusters in the southern hemisphere, combining significant infrastructure including the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, the SA Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), and facilities for all three of the state’s universities.

This multidisciplinary precinct located on North Terrace combines collaborative medical, research and education infrastructure that is establishing SA as a centre of excellence for healthcare research, services and products.

For the month of April, Brand South Australia is delving into the state’s health industry as part of the successful I Choose SA campaign. We’ll explore the world-leading research and technological revolutions being practiced here, as well as the life-changing achievements of our scientists and researchers.

Here at Brand SA News we’ll bring you a collection of stories outlining  leading health professionals, how Adelaide is positioning itself as an international research hub, and how the state’s health industry as a whole is impacting our economy, our future career pathways and the growing sector of health tourism.

First up, we’ll introduce you to Dutch couple Johan Verjans and Yvette van Eenennaam, two influential figures in the Adelaide BioMed City. The couple chose SA over other countries and states to raise their family, further their careers and share their expertise. Johan is a cardiologist with a key interest in the fascinating field of machine learning, while Yvette has taken up the position of Adelaide BioMed City’s inaugural general manager.

We’ll also bring you an article on I Choose SA ambassador and SA’s chief scientist Professor Caroline McMillen who will share her story on being lured back to the state after seven years in NSW and how she’s having a crucial say in matters of science, research, technology and innovation.

Professor McMillen has a distinguished career as a medical and health researcher and once stated that “SA is home to some of the world’s best scientists” whose passion for discovery and commitment to innovation is “creating new futures for communities across the globe”.

The second I Choose SA ambassador is Johan Verjans who will elaborate on why SA is the best place to pursue his career, and how Adelaide’s health research is growing in the artificial intelligence space.

Many of our highlighted professors, doctors and health professionals will carry out their daily lives in one of the most anticipated developments within the health sector is SAHMRI’s second instalment, SAHMRI 2, located within the Adelaide BioMed City and next to the original institute.

SAHMRI 2 will house the southern hemisphere’s first proton therapy unit, making a world of difference for hundreds of cancer patients and people with inoperable tumours every year.

The SAHMRI 2 design, right, next to the original SAHMRI building on North Terrace.

Housed over three floors, the cutting-edge treatment will deliver precise radiation to tumours with less risk of damaging surrounding tissue and organs. The unit will attract not only local patients, but those travelling from interstate and overseas.

Of course, our health industry developments will add to a long line of medical achievements throughout our state’s history. Over time, SA has developed world-first outcomes including the world’s first IVF triplets, born at Flinders Medical Centre in 1983.

The invention of penicillin also connects back to SA, with Adelaide born Howard Florey creating the first antibiotic that has since gone on to save an estimated 200 million lives. Florey started his medical journey at the University of Adelaide in 1916. In a small but ground-breaking achievement, Adelaide was also home to the world’s first plastic disposable hypodermic syringe, developed in 1949 by Charles Rothauser.

SA’s health industry no doubt has many more life-changing milestones on the way. Keen to learn more? Brand South Australia is hosting a health industry briefing on Tuesday, April 9, at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Guests will hear from Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade, SAHMRI executive director Steve Wesselingh and Adelaide BioMed City general manager Yvette van Eenennaam. For more information and to book tickets click here.

Industry in focus: Health

Throughout the month of April, the state’s health industry will be explored as part of I Choose SA.

South Australia’s health sector is among the best in the world, renowned for developing new and advanced technologies and research outcomes. Our health industry infrastructure is world-class, providing new pathways and job opportunities, as well as a growing potential for health tourism.

Read more health stories here.

Visit I Choose SA to meet the people building business and industry in SA, and to find out how your choices make a difference to our state.

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Uni SA education partner
City of Salisbury program partner

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