International PCOS network wins Engagement Australia award for excellence
An international Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) network that led the development of treatment guidelines for the often neglected health condition affecting one in eight women has received an award for excellence in international engagement in the 2023 Engagement Australia Excellence Awards.
The awards identify and celebrate engagement activities undertaken by universities that demonstrate far-reaching impact and innovation in the Australian and New Zealand economy and community.
The Partnership for Global Impact: An international multidisciplinary, evidence-based, consumer-centric network for better health led by Professor Helena Teede AM from the Centre for Research Excellence in Women’s Health in Reproductive Life (CRE WHiRL) and led by the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation received the Excellence in International Engagement award. The award recognises outstanding international collaboration that raises the profile of tertiary education and makes a substantial difference to communities both overseas and in Australia and New Zealand.
The international network delivered unprecedented collaboration, successive NHMRC-approved international evidence-based guidelines translation and shared research priorities and programs. Their International Evidence-Based Guideline for the Assessment and Management of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome was designed to provide clear information to assist shared decision-making and support optimal patient care and better health outcomes for women affected by the condition.
The guideline is the culmination of the engagement of over 3,000 health professionals and the work of 100+ multidisciplinary clinical and lived experience experts from six continents and 71 countries, which has been accessed by people in 195 countries since its release in August 2023. The network also delivered the free Ask PCOS App which has been used by 45,000 plus users worldwide, and cutting-edge, digital, free resources, for healthcare professionals and women, translated into multiple languages.
Two other Monash-led engagement activities were also named as finalists in the 2023 awards.
Finalist in the Excellence in Community Engagement category, BioEYES is an innovative, exciting, hands-on science experience for primary and secondary school students, covering diverse topics including life cycles, genetics, physiology and ethics. BioEYES captures students’ inherent enthusiasm and excitement for science while opening their minds to future careers in STEM. Aligned to the Australian and Victorian school curricula, BioEYES partners with schools in an easily accessible incursion, with all equipment provided and delivered by our expert educators. BioEYES is regularly booked 12 months in advance, servicing approximately 33 schools and 1500-2000 students annually and has been shown to have numerous benefits including upskilling teachers and inspiring students to pursue science careers. The BioEYES team is based at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and is led by Associate Professor Sharon Flecknoe.
Finalist in the Excellence in Industry Engagement category, the ‘Bringing life-saving medications to the clinic’ project was an industry engagement project focused on new cancer drug development. The development of new cancer drugs is commonly a one-way interaction, with pharmaceutical companies designing clinical trials that are then performed by clinicians on the ground. The story of zanubrutinib is different. The two-way iterative engagement between biotechnology company BeiGene and Professor Constantine Tam from Alfred Health since their initial meeting in July 2013 resulted in a series of innovative clinical trial designs which led to rapid approval of zanubrutinib in 2021 for treatment of multiple blood cancers. Zanubrutinib is a type of lifesaving drug known as a BTK inhibitor and is the best one developed to date, and the story of its evolution is an exemplary example of industry-clinician engagement.
Congratulations to our winner and finalists on their outstanding efforts across community, industry and international engagement.
About Monash University
Monash University is Australia’s largest university with more than 80,000 students. In the 60 years since its foundation, it has developed a reputation for world-leading high-impact research, quality teaching, and inspiring innovation.
With four campuses in Australia and a presence in Malaysia, China, India, Indonesia and Italy, it is one of the most internationalised Australian universities.
As a leading international medical research university with the largest medical faculty in Australia and integration with leading Australian teaching hospitals, we consistently rank in the top 50 universities worldwide for clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences.