The Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) is a joint initiative of the University of Wollongong (UOW) and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD).
Established in 2008, IHMRI’s goal is to foster, support and grow health and medical research in the Illawarra region by connecting and supporting academic and clinician researchers around research problems of relevance to the region and the world.
By providing research leadership, coordination, infrastructure, facilities and other support to researchers throughout the Illawarra, IHMRI provides a focal point for health and medical research in the region, builds research capacity within the public and private health sectors and seeks to deliver results that are directly applicable to improved clinical practice, health service delivery and public health.
IHMRI fosters world-class research across many areas and disciplines. The research program consists of three broad-based themes that reflect the diverse interests and specialisations of a wide network of academic and clinician researchers. The themes target health and medical issues prevalent in the Illawarra region and in much of the developed world, such as chronic lifestyle-related conditions, cancer, mental health and the 'diseases of ageing' including dementia.
The research program spans the full translational continuum from epidemiological studies through to basic science, clinical and community-based investigations and also aims to improve health service delivery by developing, monitoring, evaluating and improving primary and secondary care treatments, practice and pathways.
By working together under broad research themes, IHMRI researchers can take a multi-disciplinary approach to solving complex research questions.
As an independent medical research institute, IHMRI provides the primary vehicle through which academics, clinicians, health service professionals and research students advance health and medical research in the Illawarra region.
Research groups, centres and individual researchers from IHMRI's key stakeholder organisations (the UOW and ISLHD) and other community and private health organisations, are eligible to affiliate with IHMRI on the basis that their research aligns with IHMRI’s research themes and has the potential to contribute directly to IHMRI’s Research Strategy and priorities. Through formal affiliation agreements, IHMRI researchers retain their intellectual autonomy while pursuing specific areas of research under IHMRI’s leadership and direction and access the benefits, services and research-intensive environment provided by a medical research institute. Post-graduate research students may also affiliate with IHMRI under their supervisors' agreements.
IHMRI affiliated researchers are either located in IHMRI's headquarters or work primarily from various UOW-based health, medical, science, engineering and informatics research centres and facilities and ISLHD-based hospital and community health settings. IHMRI has affiliated-researchers also working from private and community based health practice settings. Over 20 per cent of all UOW Higher Degree Research Students are affiliated with IHMRI under their supervisors’ affiliation agreements.
Affiliated researchers reap the benefits of IHMRI’s state-of-the-art research environment and are guided by IHMRI’s Executive Director and theme leaders who provide mentorship and advice on research direction and opportunities for new projects and collaborations.
In addition to its formally affiliated researchers, IHMRI also engages with a vast network of organisations and individuals with an interest in health and medical research via the IHMRI Research Network. Network members receive information on events, seminars and IHMRI’s research activities. They also align themselves with one or more of IHMRI’s research themes so that information and activities can be targeted to their needs and interests.
Our Facilities and Services
Completed in 2010, IHMRI’s state-of-the-art headquarters and research facilities were designed around the principle of shared amenities and services.
Built to PC2 specifications, the laboratories occupy two levels of the building. On the first level there is a dedicated Clinical Research and Trials Unit for the conduct of commercial trials and investigator-initiated studies.
Offices, meeting rooms and common areas are provided on all three levels to house approximately 150 researchers, students and operations staff, with many more researchers accessing facilities and services for specific research activities.
Given IHMRI’s regional context and community-centred focus, the local community plays a significant role in supporting IHMRI’s activities, either by participating in clinical trials, making donations and providing other support, or by showing an interest in IHMRI’s activities.
With a world-class facility of great pride to the local community and research network, IHMRI and its partners are taking the opportunity to position the Illawarra region as a world-class centre of excellence in health and medical research.
Support our research
To make a donation visit www.givenow.com.au/ihmri
Meet IHMRI's new Clinical Director
In January 2016, Professor Leonard Arnolda was appointed IHMRI’s inaugural Clinical Director – a new leadership role shared between IHMRI and the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. More here. More here.