Delegates of Health Sciences Visited Melbourne to Promote Inter-Faculty Collaborations

University News | October 10, 2023

Professor Thompson and Professor Yano signing on the MoU

Professor Thompson, Head of the Melbourne School of Health Sciences (left) and Professor Yano, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences (right) signing on the MoU

Between 4 and 7 September 2023, delegates of Health Sciences, Hokkaido University (HU) paid a visit to a Strategic International Partner of HU, the University of Melbourne (UoM) and met key academics to promote further collaborations on Health Sciences.  The delegation led by Professor Rika Yano, Vice Executive Director (Diversity and Inclusion) and Dean of Health Sciences included Professor Taro Yamauchi, Director of the Centre for Environmental Health Sciences, Professor Daisuke Sawamura and Assistant Professor Inaho Shishido from the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Taena Uemura, University Research Administrator of the Institute for International Collaboration.  Existing collaborations between the Faculties of Health Sciences, HU and Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences, UoM were initiated by academics’ exchange in Healthcare for Elderly and Living Environment, and were boosted by the universities’ matching fund established in 2022.  The HU-UoM Virtual Conference on Healthy Ageing, a kick-off event of this inter-university partnership in 2022 also featured said research topics and confirmed common interests.

Deputy Dean McGuckin and Dean Yano are standing facing the camera. Prof. Yano is holding a wrapped present.

Deputy Dean McGuckin (left) and Dean Yano (right)

Nine people are standing in a line posing for a picture.

A meeting to discuss potential collaborations

Recognising increasing demands, a department-level MoU on academic exchange was concluded between the Faculty and Graduate School of Health Sciences, HU and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, and Health Sciences and the Melbourne School of Health Sciences, UoM. The delegates had several meetings to discuss potential research collaborations with Deputy Dean Mike McGuckin, Associate Dean Alicia Spittle, School Head Bruce Thompson, Director Cathy Vaughan at the Nosal Institute for Global Health, Professor Marie Gerdtz, the Head of Department of Nursing, Professor Fiona Dobson, Head of the Physiotherapy Department, and Associate Professor Andrew Metha, Head of the Optometry and Vision Sciences Department.


Their three days stay started from the UoM’s Centre for Digital Transformation of Health which conducts various trials for detecting possible failures of digitalised health care, Austin Health a major regional medical institution where many UoM academics have their secondment, the Melbourne Brain Centre, classrooms of Nursing, and Optometry and Vision Sciences, and concluded with Professor Sawamura’s invited seminars at the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences and Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, where positive feedbacks were given from audiences: Cognitive neuroscience and rehabilitation – striving towards the development of effective assessment and intervention strategies

Five people inside a hospital room. One person is making a presentation.

Centre for Digital Transformation of Health

An auditorium in front of which Professor Sawamura is standing next to a staff member from the UoM. The displayed screen says "Cognitive Neuroscience and Rehabilitation"/

Professor Sawamura’s seminar

The delegates and UoM academics confirmed there are still many potential seeds found through their communications: Global Health and Community Engagement, Medical and Nursing Workforce Management and Work Environment Improvement, Neuroscience for Dementia and Alzheimer Disease, Allied Healthcare for Elderly, etc.


(Photos and text by Faculty of Health Sciences and Institute for International Collaboration)