Western Sydney Local Health District experts take centre stage at the Westmead Research and Innovation Conference

Experts from the Western Sydney Local Health District are at the center of the Westmead Research and Innovation Conference

Associate Professor Verity Ahern (top left), Professor Clara Show (top right), Professor Dominic Dwyer (bottom left), Associate Professor Narinder Singh (bottom right)

On Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August, the Westmead Research and Innovation Conference 2022 in the Western Sydney Local Health Region (WSLHD) brought together research, industry and healthcare delivery to connect, learn and inspire.

This year’s theme was intersection of research and industry.

Westmead Hospital cardiologist, academic director of the Westmead Applied Research Center and professor of medicine at the University of Sydney, Professor Clara Chow, spoke about cost-effective innovations in digital health.

Clara emphasized the importance of the conference, saying: “Research and innovation are incredibly important to what we do to improve patient outcomes and experiences to make our healthcare system work more effectively.

“This needs to be talked about at all levels of the hospital.

Westmead is important because of its people, not just its patients and population, but also the amazing breadth of knowledge of our doctors, researchers, scientists and health system providers. I’m constantly throwing ideas at other people and I’m lucky to live in an ecosystem.”

Professor Clara Chow

Other speakers from WSLHD included Associate Professor Verity Ahern, WSLHD Director of Radiation Oncology, who helped establish the Radiation Oncology Translational Network’s Radiation Biology Laboratory.

Its goal is to help realize the clinical and commercial potential of radiation biology.

Each cancer patient and each cancer responds differently to radiation therapy, which is used to treat nearly 50% of cancer patients.

Understanding why some tumors are resistant to radiation and how radiation resistance can be overcome are areas of interest for the Westmead Translation Radiation Biology Group, which leads this field of research nationally.

Verity presented the work of this group and other international researchers in radiation biology to show the diversity of the field.

Associate Professor Narinder Singh, Head of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Specialist ENT Surgeon and Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney, lectured on rhinology, specializing exclusively in disorders of the nose and sinuses, including nasal obstruction, snoring/OSA surgery, comprehensive and extended endoscopic sinus procedures, anterior skull base surgery and rhinoplasty (both functional and aesthetic).

Professor Dominic Dwyer, Medical Virologist and Infectious Diseases Physician at NSW Health Pathology’s Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR) at Westmead Hospital, presented the closing session on day two.

The special session “Wuhan to Westmead: the origins of SARS-CoV-2” was delivered virtually from France by Professor Dywer, telling the story of his historic journey to Wuhan, when he was selected by the World Health Organization to be part of an international team of 10 working with local health officials in Wuhan to investigate the origins of COVID-19.

In addition to exciting keynote speakers, lecture topics included ‘Industries of Tomorrow’, ‘Digital Health’, ‘Clinical Innovation’ and ‘The Entrepreneurs Journey’.

The conference showcased the world-class research carried out at Westmead Hospital at WSLHD, as well as nationally and internationally from a scientific, industry and government perspective, and was well attended.


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