Bond University today announced it has created a Population Health and Neuroimmunology Unit (PHANU) in its state-of-the-art health sciences and medical research facility on the Gold Coast.
In collaboration with Queensland Health, Bond University’s PHANU will be one of very few research laboratories in the world to conduct studies into autoimmunity and neuroimmunology within the context of population health.
The research unit reflects a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report - The Global Burden of Disease – and directive to the international health community to prioritise research, illness prevention and diagnostic tools that address the growing prevalence of mental and neurological disorders within communities world-wide.
Population health services address the range of risk and protective factors that determine the health of the community. The PHANU will focus on ‘at risk’ population groups for the development of illness prevention and form part of Queensland Health’s Population Health Plan for 2007 through 2012.
“Bond University is honoured to combine expertise with Queensland Health,” said Professor Chris Del Mar, Dean of the Bond University Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine.
“Bond’s Population Health and Neuroimmunology Unit marks an important step taken by an Australian government to address the WHO’s report on neurological disease and its growing impact on public health,” he continued.
“This report shows that, while mental and neurological disorders are responsible for approximately one per cent of deaths, they account for almost 11 per cent of the world’s disease burden,” he said.
“The WHO projects that the proportion of neuropsychiatric disorders will rise 14.7 per cent by 2020. This will put pressure on public health systems.
“Bond University will now provide much needed research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of these sorts of neurological disorders which occur frequently, cause substantial disability, and create a burden on individuals, families, communities and societies all over Australia, and the world.
“Bond’s Population Health and Neuroimmunology Unit already has the advantage of numerous publications by the collaborators in immunology, vasoactive neuropoptide research and public health, and the unit will be able to also contribute to international scientific literature,” concluded Professor Del Mar.