Role

AMRAB’s key role is to determine and publish the:

AMRAB does this through a public consultation process.

In this video, Professor Ian Frazer AC (Chair of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board) talks about the role of AMRAB and the Medical Research Future Fund.

Ian Frazer interview thumbnail
2:57
Read transcript

[Music plays and images move through to show glass panels on the outside of a building, Professor Ian Frazer in an office talking to the camera, and then glass panels on the outside of the building]

Professor Ian Frazer: The healthy population is a happy and productive population and to keep people healthy you need medical research.

[Music plays and image changes to show a view of the glass panelled building from the street]

[Images move through to show Ian talking to the camera, a group of people sitting watching a presentation, and then Ian having a conversation with the presenter and text appears: Professor Ian Frazer AC, Chair, Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB)]

I’m Professor Ian Frazer. My job as chair of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board, AMRAB is to give advice to government about what the strategy for health and medical research should be and what the priorities should be at any given time.

[Image shows Ian in conversation with the group then image changes to show Ian talking to the camera and the camera zooms out on Ian talking]

The great advantage of having a Medical Research Future Fund with guaranteed funding is that we can look at the big problems in health and try and build new capacity to solve those problems.

[Image changes to show a male pointing at a presentation and then the camera zooms out to show him talking, and then the image changes to show  a female in the group talking]

We were charged with consulting widely to find out what the priorities should be in medical research.

[The camera pans over group, and then the image changes to show Ian talking to the camera]

That means consulting with the experts, of course, but also with the community and with governments and we also set up a website so people could put in their suggestions on the web.

[Camera zooms out on Ian talking to the camera]

Basically we did the best we could to consult with absolutely anybody that wanted to talk with us.

[Music plays and image changes to show Ian and a female scientist walking through a busy laboratory and then image changes to show Ian talking to the camera]

Australia values its health and there are many health challenges that face Australia — cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, dementia — and what will really make a difference is if through research we can prevent these diseases.

[Image changes to show Ian and a female scientist in conversation while looking at a manual in a laboratory and then the image changes to show Ian talking to the camera]

And so, there are many parts of the Medical Research Future Fund that are directed in that area but the one that stands out is genomics.

[Music plays and image moves through to show Ian and a female scientist walking through a busy laboratory, and then the image changes to show an indoor garden café]

Genomics is the future of medicine.

[Image changes to show Ian talking to the camera]

At one end of the spectrum we can diagnose young kids with serious genetic diseases quickly.

[Images move through to show Ian and a male scientist working together in a laboratory and looking into a microscope]

In between, we can use genomics to understand how bacteria spread particular diseases.

[Image changes to show Ian talking to the camera, and then the image changes to show a microscope, and then the camera zooms out to show Ian looking into the microscope]

And at the other end of the spectrum we can map out the people who are likely to end up with chronic disease such as  Type 2 Diabetes and therefore we can predict how best to prevent them getting that disease.

[Music plays and the image shows Ian and a male scientist in conversation in a laboratory]

[Images move through to show Ian talking to the camera, Ian and a male scientist working together in a laboratory, and then Ian talking to the camera]

Eventually genomics will probably be the road map for health that everybody carries around with them.

[Image changes to show blue liquid being drawn up into a syringe and then being put into test tubes]

Medical research also creates job opportunities.

[Image changes to show Ian talking to the camera]

It creates potential wealth for the country.

[Image changes to show blue liquid being drawn up into a syringe and then the camera zooms out to show Ian and a male scientist working together in a laboratory]

Innovative research leads to innovative products and innovative products can be sold on a global basis.

[Images move through to show Ian sitting in a café working at a laptop]

We are a small country in a very big world.

[Image changes to show Ian talking to the camera and then the image changes to show Ian smiling at the camera]

We contribute well above our weight in medical research but we recognise that we really need to be doing internationally competitive research and all of the Medical Research Future Fund is focused on this idea of doing world-best research in Australia.

[Music plays and the Coat of Arms and text appears: Australian Government, Department of Health, Medical Research Future Fund]

Members

The Australian Government appoints the Board. It includes:

  • the CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • experts from the health and medical research sector
  • highly regarded representatives of the wider Australian community

The government chooses the members carefully to ensure the Advisory Board has the right skills and experience to guide MRFF spending.

Australia has a strong track record in medical research and discoveries. The members of the Advisory Board have all contributed to research outcomes and will continue to advance Australia's research potential as members of the Advisory Board. 

AMRAB members

Member

Background and experience

Professor Ian Frazer AC (Chair)

Professor Ian Frazer is a scientist and previous Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Research of the Translational Research Institute. He is now Chair of the Translation Research Institute Foundation Board.

Professor Frazer is President of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science and member of the Commonwealth Science Council. He is also Chairman of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation's Medical Research Advisory Committee. Professor Frazer is also the Chair of the Genomics Health Futures Mission Expert Advisory Committee.

Mr Yasser El-Ansary

Mr El-Ansary is the Chief Executive of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association where he is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the organisation’s work in representing the private equity and venture capital industry in Australia.

Professor Douglas Hilton AO

Professor Hilton is Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Head of the Department of Medical Biology at The University of Melbourne and former president of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institute.

Professor Peter Høj AC

Professor Høj is Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Queensland, and chair of the Group of Eight board. Before this, he was Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of South Australia, and CEO of the Australian Research Council.

Dr Deborah Rathjen

Dr Rathjen is the executive chair and CEO of biOasis Technologies.

Professor Karen Reynolds

Professor Reynolds is Director of the Medical Device Research Institute and the Medical Device Partnering Program, as well as Dean (Research) of the College of Science and Engineering at Flinders University.

Ms Jennifer Williams AM

Ms Williams is the former Chief Executive of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service and is currently the Northern Health (Victoria) Board Chair.

Professor Anne Kelso AO (Ex-Officio Member)

Professor Kelso is the CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Meetings

AMRAB usually meets in February, July and October, however meetings may vary across years. AMRAB posts any public communications here.

Communiqué — AMRAB meeting 26 July 2019

Related committees and groups

AMRAB reports to the Department of Health.

Contact

Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) contact

The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) advises the Health Minister on prioritising spending from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

MRFF [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
11 December 2019