New centres for world-leading health research

Improving Health and Wellbeing

Promoting healthy diets and developing innovative therapies for mental illness are the focus of two NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence at Deakin.

Deakin University will develop two new research centres to investigate transformation of Australia’s food environments and to develop new therapies for the most common psychiatric disorders, under funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Deakin was awarded more than $8.3 M from the Council in its latest round of grants, which included funding for the two new centres, as well as seven prestigious research fellowships.

Professor Anna Peeters, Director of Deakin’s Institute for Healthcare Transformation, will lead the Centre of Research Excellence in Food Retail Environments for Health (RE-FRESH), a collaboration with Monash University, The Sax Institute, University of Auckland and The George Institute for Global Health and the world’s first international centre for healthy food retail research and practice.

“Research is urgently needed that demonstrates how healthy food retail can become the new norm for food business by promoting diets that meet national dietary guidelines and are rich in core foods like fruit and vegetables, while reducing excess purchase of discretionary food and drink,” Professor Peeters said.

“Through RE-FRESH, we will build the evidence, methods and tools we need to transform the environments in which people buy their food and drink and improve our population’s diet and health.”
Anna Peeters
Professor Anna Peeters Institute of Healthcare Transformation

Professor Michael Berk, Director of Deakin’s Centre for Innovation in Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Treatment (IMPACT) at Barwon Health, will head CREDIT: The CRE for the Development of Innovative Therapies for Psychiatric Disorders, a collaboration with The University of Queensland, Orygen, Monash University and The University of Sydney.

“The core vision of CREDIT is to advance a national strategy and platform supporting the development and translation of novel therapies for the most prevalent and disabling neuropsychiatric disorders.”
Michael Berk
Professor Michael Berk Centre for Innovation in Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Treatment

“This will facilitate a new, highly innovative and coordinated approach to treatment discovery in mental health care,” Professor Berk said.

Professor Berk also received a prestigious NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellowship to support his work.

Successful colleagues in Deakin’s Faculty of Health also include Professor Richard Osborne (School of Health and Social Development), who received a Senior Research Fellowship, and Professor Peter Vuillermin (School of Medicine), who received a Clinical Career Development Fellowship.

Early Career Researcher Awards were given to Dr Philip Russo (School of Nursing and Midwifery), Dr Lisa Olive (School of Psychology), Dr Lewan Parker (School of Exercise and Nutrition) and Dr Erin Hoare (School of Medicine).

Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Joe Graffam congratulated the successful applicants on their outstanding achievements.

“This strong result recognises Deakin’s growing reputation for innovative health research,” Professor Graffam said.

“Our researchers are continuing to make an important difference in many areas of health, leading the way in developing and testing real-world solutions to help the communities we serve become healthier, happier and more prosperous.”
Professor Joe Graffam Deakin's Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research

 

Published by Deakin Research on 17 August 2018

 

Centre for Innovation in Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Treatment

The Centre for Innovation in Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Treatment (IMPACT) is a multidisciplinary strategic research centre that integrates clinical, epidemiological and basic research with a strong translational focus. We contribute to the understanding of the aetiology and impact of psychiatric, musculoskeletal, metabolic and other health disorders.