From the Director

Extreme weather events, drought, bushfires and floods, and now a global pandemic with the evolving situation of coronavirus (COVID-19). These are unprecedented and challenging times in which we live, and impacting the world in ways we have never seen before.

We hope our newsletter finds you safe and well during these challenging times. Our thoughts are with everyone and we send our gratitude to all the doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and essential service providers. We must continue to care for each other and work together, united as one.

The Australian Government is focused on slowing the spread of COVID-19 to save lives, and have taken necessary actions to protect the community from its spread.

No one could have envisioned this would be the start to 2020, but like everyone, we continue to be flexible in how we work, study and connect.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and students remains our priority. The University and NICM Health Research Institute continue to operate, albeit mostly remotely. Although COVID-19 has not reached our campuses, the University is continually reviewing all of its operations; acting on the latest Australian Government and health authority advice; taking all of the necessary precautions; and doing our part to slow the spread of the virus.

Prior to these precautions and implementation of restrictions on gatherings and need for social distancing, we were fortunate to celebrate and mark International Women’s Day and the official opening of the new Jacka Foundation Conference Centre with the inaugural one-day symposium, Influential Women in Natural Therapies: A Legacy for the Future and the Women’s Networking Breakfast with Lisa Curry AO MBE.

Our researchers have been working solidly throughout this disruptive period as you will see through their publications and other efforts. In this newsletter you will read more about Dr Carolyn Ee’s latest paper on breast cancer and weight gain, Professor Sarris’ paper looking at OMEGA-3 for major depressive disorder, and Justin Sinclair’s presentation at the Federal Government’s Senate Inquiry into current barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis.

I hope you enjoy reading our autumn newsletter in the lead up to the long weekend and Easter Break ahead. As we all stay at home this Easter, we wish you a safe and restful staycation.

With best wishes,

Professor Alan Bensoussan

8 April 2020