As global populations increase and age and the climate changes, the need for a holistic focus on the interface between human, animal and environmental health is needed.
The health precinct developing in and around Murdoch University, including Fiona Stanley Hospital, provides unique research opportunities supporting our activities in health, biomedicine, bioinformatics and other fields including health education, communication and health sector management policy.
The majority of new and emerging diseases cross species barriers. Vector-borne diseases – carried by mosquitoes, bats, birds, worm parasites and ticks – are now being detected in new regions as a result of climate change. These diseases and their transmission remain a priority area of research at Murdoch.
Murdoch’s new Antimicrobial Resistance and Infectious Diseases (AMRID) Research Laboratory is a cutting-edge ‘One Health’ research surveillance facility containing a suite of state-of-the-art molecular and non-molecular technologies. It is the only reference laboratory in Australia carrying out disease surveillance covering the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in both humans and animals.
Approaches that personalise treatments for target patient groups is at the heart of precision medicine. Stratifying patients into subgroups requires genomic, biochemical, clinical and other tools that can differentiate patients, and is a growing area of expertise at Murdoch. Metabolic analysis is being used to predict health or disease states and develop targeted ways of treating diseases effectively. Our researchers are also developing precision medicine therapies for a range of genetic diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Metabolism, genetics and disease
In a partnership of six Australian universities, two medical institutes and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, Murdoch hosts the Australian National Phenome Centre. This technology platform supports world-class metabolic phenotyping research, allowing our researchers to understand the impact of environment and lifestyle on the genome, to predict the emergence of disease in people, animals and plants. In medical research, Murdoch also manages the linkages between patient genetic information, external patient registries, and patient management plans, particularly for rare genetic disorders.
Mental health and health policy
Health through the course of life is often as much mental as physical, and Murdoch has a well-developed research program in Aboriginal mental, social and emotional wellbeing based at the Ngangk Yira Research Centre. There is also a strong research focus on health policy and health economics across the Asian and Indo-Pacific region.