$42M Federal investment in tropical health and medicine at JCU

15 May 2014

The Australian Federal Government will contribute an additional $42 million to the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) based at James Cook University, matching the Queensland Government’s funding commitment.

JCU Medicine
Study medicine at JCU Medical School

Commonwealth funds will enable the expansion and consolidation of planned activities in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and the Torres Strait to establish the following:
Tropical Health Research and Training facilities, JCU Townsville, Cairns and Torres Strait – $25.5m
Research and training in virology, disease and vector control, and development of new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases, complementing Queensland Government funding in all locations.
Translational Research Centre, JCU Townsville – $10m
Research and training facilities and expertise to support clinical trials, tele-health and translational research and training to support world-class contributions in infectious and chronic diseases.
Occupational Health Research Centre, Mackay – $1.5m
Research to investigate, develop and test strategies to reduce the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness in key regional industries.
Network and general operating activities – $5m
Support linkages with medical researchers and health workers throughout Australia to maximise the quality and impact of research and to ensure that it is focused on the key health problems of tropical Australia.
AITHM is based at James Cook University and aims to establish northern Australia as a centre of excellence in tropical health, medical and biotechnology research and research training.
AITHM has three research priorities: Australia’s health security and biosecurity; health in rural, remote, Indigenous and tropical Australia; and health in the tropics, regionally and globally.
James Cook University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding said AITHM is a critical element of JCU’s goal to create a brighter future for people living in the tropics.
“The research AITHM undertakes will improve health in the tropics both within Australia and world-wide. JCU has a proud history of research and development relevant to the tropics,” Professor Harding said.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, Professor Ian Wronski said JCU’s location puts it in on the frontline for biosecurity and health security.
“We are ideally placed to tackle issues including the prevalence of tuberculosis in neighbouring Papua New Guinea, as well as dengue fever, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and soil-transmitted parasites,” Professor Wronski said. “These are diseases that have a devastating effect on many developing nations in the tropics and also pose a threat to Australians, given our frequent interactions with neighbouring countries.
“AITHM builds on the university’s existing expertise in these areas, including our connection with Australia’s first medical research institute, the Australian Institute for Tropical Medicine, which opened in Townsville in 1913.”
AITHM operational funding through the Australian Government will help to expand research and training expertise in the microbiology of infectious diseases, including virology, as well as in disease modelling, disease control, surveillance methodologies, health information systems, health economics and occupational health and safety.

About James Cook University Medical School

JCU Medical School specializes in rural and remote medicine. The JCU program has a unique place among Australian medical schools. The course is undertaken entirely in northern Australia and has an emphasis on tropical medicine, the health of rural and remote communities, and of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. The medical program is informed by a concern for social justice, innovation and excellence in medical education, research and service.
Medical students at JCU gain early experience in the tropical health care context and benefit from extensive clinical experience and a full course of medical education and training. The program attracts students, staff and clinicians with an ambition to make a difference, whatever their background, specialty or career direction.
Program: Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
Location: Townsville, Queensland
Semester intake: February 2015
Duration: 6 years
Application deadline: August 29, 2014

Entry Requirements for the JCU Medical Program

  • Entry is directly from high school. Students may also transfer into the program during their undergraduate degree or at the completion of their undergraduate degree.
  • High school cumulative average necessary to be considered is a minimum of 85% in Grade 12 subjects, including prerequisite subject grades.
  • If you are applying to the program after you have partially or fully completed your post-secondary studies, you should have a Canadian GPA of 80% cumulative average across all university studies, but to have a competitive application, applicants should have achieved at least an 82% cumulative average.
  • Interview: held in-person and via video conference

Apply to James Cook University Medical School!


Do you have questions about JCU Medical School and its MBBS program? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Officer Broghan Dean at broghan@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355 (toll free in Canada) for more information about how you can study in Australia!