the boundaries to improve patient and population health

The Faculty of Medicine has welcomed new leaders in both education and research. We introduce you to our new Dean of Medicine, Dean of Research, Associate Dean (Research) and Director of UQDI.

Professor Stuart Carney,

Medical Dean

UQ medical graduates must be effective from their first day as interns, while adapting to changes in healthcare needs throughout their careers.

That is the key message from UQ’s new Medical Dean, Professor Stuart Carney.

As Medical Dean, Professor Carney provides academic leadership for the MD Program. Originally from the north of England, Professor Carney graduated from Edinburgh University Medical School and trained as a consultation-liaison psychiatrist at Oxford.

“While at Oxford, I became interested in clinical epidemiology and began to appreciate the potential impact of medical education as a complex intervention to improve patient and public health,” says the new Medical Dean.

This interest in medical education took Professor Carney into the field of public policy. He helped the United Kingdom Health Departments to develop a new integrated academic training pathway for medicine, and a standardised two-year internship. The internship, known as the Foundation Programme, now forms the bridge between medical school and vocational training in the UK.

Professor Stuart Carney

Professor Stuart Carney

Prior to joining UQ, Professor Carney was the Medical Dean at King’s College London, overseeing the largest MBBS program in the UK, where he led a major turnaround to transform the student experience and curriculum.

“I am absolutely delighted to have joined the team at UQ,” says Professor Carney. “The Faculty’s commitment to academic excellence and international impact captivated my interest during the application process for the Medical Dean role.”

Since arriving, Professor Carney has begun to fully understand how talented students are realising UQ’s global leadership ambitions.

“The University of Queensland Medical Society, in particular, has made me feel welcome and it is great to see the breadth of their activities to help build a sense of community in the medical program.”

Professor Carney will also serve as Deputy Executive Dean, and work as part of the Faculty executive team dedicated to ensuring a world-class comprehensive and integrated medical program.

A clear and unequivocal strategy

Professor Sean Emery,

Research Dean

‘Impact’ is a word often uttered by Professor Sean Emery, the Faculty of Medicine’s inaugural Research Dean. Professor Emery is focused on building on the Faculty’s international reputation for research that makes a difference.

Among his priorities is the development of a new strategic plan emphasising impact as being at the heart of the Faculty’s research environment: impact in individuals, in populations and in patient care and service delivery within health care systems - locally, nationally and internationally.

“Better treatment for patients is the most discernible measure of impact,” Professor Emery says. “But how we prevent disease from occurring and how we better deliver health services to meet needs are important measures also."

The focus has to be the integration of UQ’s world-class biomedical research people and infrastructure with clinical care to generate quality scientific evidence and healthcare outcomes.”

Professor Sean Emery

Professor Sean Emery

Professor Emery’s role includes managing the development, coordination, performance and translational outcomes of the Faculty’s research centres and institutes. “We have a dynamic and rapidly evolving external funding environment. We need to be best positioned to respond proactively to the challenges of that setting. Having a clear and unequivocal strategy in place is vital.”

Professor Emery completed his Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Applied Biology and PhD in Biochemistry in the UK, where he also worked in the pharmaceutical industry for several years. He has more than 20 years of research leadership at The University of New South Wales, including as Deputy Dean (Research) with the Faculty of Medicine, and Head of the Therapeutic and Vaccine Research Program at the Kirby Institute.

UQ’s reputation and the appeal of the new role attracted Professor Emery to Queensland.

“The university is highly regarded internationally, particularly for its biomedical enterprises,” he says. “On a personal level, this was an enormously appealing opportunity to satisfy my ambition."

"While we are bedding down a new structure in the organisation, I’d like to go about an orderly transition to the development of a clear and engaging strategic plan with which to achieve research impact within the Faculty of Medicine.”

Professor Emery also serves as Deputy Executive Dean of the Faculty.

Better health outcomes through discovery and innovation

Professor Elizabeth Eakin,

Associate Dean (Research)

Appreciating the real-world issues faced by our clinical and community partners is a philosophy Professor Elizabeth Eakin is taking into her new role as Associate Dean (Research). That philosophy will underpin opportunities to harness the Faculty’s tremendous diversity in research and education, so that it continues to have a tangible impact on health.

Professor Eakin’s research intersects clinical and public health approaches to cancer prevention, requiring her to develop numerous partnerships across the cancer control community. She has led many randomised controlled trials in health service and community settings, with the evidence generated now informing health promotion and disease prevention initiatives across Australia.

This research lays a firm grounding for what Professor Eakin now hopes to achieve. “Listening and engaging will help us to define the problems our communities and health partners are grappling with,” she says. “It will also help us to understand how our research can play a role in informing solutions to those problems.”

Professor Eakin believes the Faculty’s diversity is an enormous strength when it comes to tackling health problems faced by patients,clinicians and communities. World-leading expertise extends from biomedical/discovery science through to clinical and health services implementation, along with research that informs public health policy and practice.

“We comprise five schools, five research centres and approximately 1000 continuing and fixed-term staff. We have a community of more than 4000 non-salaried academics and around 3200 students.

"That is a substantial force driving the multifaceted approaches needed to achieve outcomes that will really change lives.”

Professor Eakin says she is honoured and excited to join the Faculty Executive – continuing her leadership trajectory since joining UQ as a Principal Research Fellow in 2005. A clinical psychologist with a passion for public health, she has 15 years of continuous NHMRC Research Fellowship funding, and made the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list for 2016.

Professor Eakin’s remit, working closely with newly appointed Research Dean Sean Emery and the Faculty Executive, includes strategic direction of research and research training, improvements in their quality and impact, and the growth of local, national and international research collaborations.

“Collaboration will be the key to remaining competitive in achanging funding environment,” Professor Eakin says. “We have to get evenbetter about engaging with one another – across the Faculty, across UQ and withindustry and community health partners. Facilitating connections and a sharedvision across our hugely diverse Faculty will enable us to deliver betterhealth outcomes through discovery and innovation.”

Translating discoveries into game-changing therapies

Professor Paul Clarke,

UQ Diamantina Institute Director

Swapping the east of Scotland for sunny Queensland, Professor Paul Clarke is the new Director of The University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute (UQDI). With a background in cancer cell biology research and a career spanning more than two decades, he brings a wealth of research leadership to the institute.

Joining UQDI from the University of Dundee School of Medicine, where he filled the roles of Associate Dean and Head of Research, Professor Clarke is set to reinvigorate UQDI’s research programs and recharge the institute’s overall strategic direction to focus on impactful translationa lresearch.

Professor Clarke says he looks forward to leading UQDI in continuing its ground breaking research into understanding the molecular and cellular basis of disease, and translating this research into innovative new treatments for patients.

“UQDI has a unique and collaborative research environment with strong connections to clinicians and patients,” says Professor Clarke.

“I’m excited to lead some of the best medical researchers in the world, and to help them translate their scientific discoveries into game-changing therapies and medical treatments."

“UQDI has a reputation as an international leader in cancer and chronic disease research. With conditions like diabetes, arthritis and skin cancer on the rise around the globe, it is imperative that we link the pre-clinical and clinical science to healthcare and patient outcomes.”

Professor Clarke completed his undergraduate studies in biochemistry at the University of Bristol. This was followed by a PhD at the University of Dundee, where he later became a senior lecturer and was awarded a personal chair in 2005.

Professor Clarke has spent most of his career in the United Kingdom and Europe. He has been part of Dundee’s School of Medicine for the past 18 years and previously he worked at the University of Manchester and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg.

A keen Arsenal supporter, Professor Clarke is looking forward to exploring Brisbane and contributing to the development of local and international research collaborations.