Local researchers leading the way in health
CQUNIVERSITY Professor Sonj Hall believes Rockhampton could one day be as well known for health research as it is known for beef cattle.
The executive director of the Health Collaborative Research Network said local researchers were being offered a springboard to access even more major health research grants, either directly or as part of national teams.
And there is already a flurry of activity happening in Rockhampton.
"Only this week, we hosted Professor Roy Goldie, a senior representative of the National Health & Medical Research Council, who spoke about leveraging existing strengths, recognising emerging strengths and building strategic partnerships," Prof Hall said.
Two local researchers are looking into how to delay the need for dialysis for those in early stages of chronic kidney disease, and how to buy time for those needing a transplant.
Dr Vincent Dalbo and Patrick Tucker are pioneering an investigation at a molecular level, with a long-term goal of finding ways to modify the genes involved in chronic kidney disease.
Human blood samples will be used in their research, but they are also progressing animal studies aimed at proving the effectiveness of high intensity exercise.
Immunological studies are also underway on clinical samples collected during adenoid surgery at the Rockhampton Mater Hospital, with collaboration between CQUniversity, Queensland University of Technology and the hospital.
The PEACH program, which stands for Parenting, Eating and Activity for Child Health, is also helping families.
It is a family-focused program that supports parents and carers to make healthy lifestyle changes including better nutrition and increased activity.
The program will be delivered by CQUniversity, on behalf of QUT, which secured funding for the project from Queensland Health under the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health - Healthy Children.
The Health CRN has also provided funding so postdoctoral research fellow Sue Naish from QUT's Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation can visit Professor Andrew Taylor-Robinson at CQUniversity and other researchers at James Cook University, to map the epidemiology of the mosquito-transmitted debilitating viral disease dengue fever in Central and Northern Queensland.