Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery

On 19 March, HE M. Christophe Penot, Ambassador of France toured the pro-forma laboratory  of the “Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery“, based at St Vincent’s Hospital, in company of Ms Brenda Shanahan, Chair of the Board of the ACMD, Ms Patricia O’Rourke, CEO of St Vincent’s Health Australia’s Public Hospitals Division, Mr. Christophe Demaison, from the Institute of Medical Research at St Vincent, and Ms Myriam Boisbouvier-Wylie, Honorary Consul General of France in Melbourne.

The center, once it is built, will be an innovative hub at the intersection of clinical practice, engineering, technology and industry

Professor Tom Kay, Executive Director of ACMD, explained the vision of the integrated centre that operates in collaboration with the University of Melbourne, Swinburne University, RMIT, Australian Catholic University and the University of Wollongong. Aligning the expertise of medical doctors, scientists and engineers allow for an improved and faster practical development of the medical research, that can be readily applied to the patients treated at nearby St Vincent’s Hospital.

Cathal O’Connell, the Centre Manager, showed us how the  3-D print technology can be applied to heal or restore body parts. For instance, cartilage could be able to self rejuvenate thanks to stem cells growing onto tissues printed in 3D. Or from the operation block, the surgeon could “order” the exact missing part of an organ to be printed by a hand held printer. Many exciting projects in perspective!

The team is young and dynamic and amongst them are two French engineers. A beautiful project of International collaboration !