Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA) appoints new Chair

13 July 2023

The Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA) has appointed Health Translation Queensland's Executive Director, Professor John Prins, as its new Chair.

AHRA is the voice of the 14 Research Translation Centres, either fully accredited or recognised as emerging by the National Health and Medical Research Council.

AHRA’s priorities are to embed research in Australian health care, achieve better alignment of research capacity with clinical priorities and enable more, better and faster research translation to deliver patient, public and economic benefit.

AHRA has also appointed the Director of NSW Regional Health Partners, Associate Professor Nicolette Hodyl, as its Deputy Chair.

Professor Prins said he was looking forward to working with AHRA’s national network to advocate for more systematic research translation and greater support for Australia’s clinician-researcher workforce.

“By bridging the gap between the earlier phases of research and clinical practice, research translation contributes to the advancement of healthcare, the economy and - most importantly - delivers better patient care,” said Professor Prins. “But research translation needs more clinicians who are also researchers, and a system that embeds research within our health services.”

Professor Prins takes over from outgoing Chair and Executive Director of Sydney Health Partners, Professor Don Nutbeam, who held the position for two years.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Professor Prins to the helm of AHRA,” said Professor Nutbeam.

“John has a deep understanding of the challenges and the benefits of research translation and his experience is welcome at a time when the structure of health and medical research support is being discussed at the national level.”

Research translation bridges the gap between health and medical research and evidence-based healthcare. It synthesises, exchanges, and applies the knowledge gained from research, and turns it into policy and clinical practice.

AHRA members build Australia’s capacity and capability for research translation by collaborating on national projects and initiatives in areas including women’s health, Indigenous health and consumer and community involvement.

Professor Prins said AHRA was uniquely positioned to help translate research in ways that address unmet healthcare needs.

“By helping researchers work with under-served populations, AHRA is speeding the delivery of evidence-based treatments that offer better outcomes, best value and equity of provision - so that no matter where you live in Australia, you can have access to the same high standard of care."

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