Leading trauma research and care
Jamieson Trauma Institute (JTI) Director Professor Michael Schuetz believes that Queensland and Metro North have all the factors in place to be a world leader in trauma research and care.
A love of skiing led a young Michael Schuetz to a serendipitous connection with one of the world’s best fracture clinics and research organisations in Switzerland, and he has brought that knowledge and those skills to Queensland and Metro North.
“I got engaged with trauma care and orthopaedic trauma research because I had a great mentor, Professor Peter Matter, someone I really admired as a person,” Professor Schuetz said.
“I wanted to go skiing. In the Swiss Alps there are a lot of skiing accidents and a lot of fractures, so there has been a lot of work done there and there is a really well-known institute for fracture management at the AO Foundation, and so I got interested in fractures.
“Professor Matter was in the second generation of people to come out of this group, and they just had a fantastic culture, they are driven by the work, and they are very supportive. Many of the techniques of standardised fracture management and care used around the world came out of this group.
“One of the major areas of challenge are large bone defects and what to do when someone has lost significant portions of large bone through trauma (or infection, or malignancy)? How do you generate sufficient bone to make up for the loss? There are various avenues of research being explored – looking at stem cells, scaffolding, proteins, vascularity, and so on.”
Following stints in Davos, Brisbane and Berlin, Professor Schuetz was appointed Director of the Jamieson Trauma Institute, based at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, in August 2018.
JTI is a collaboration between Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Queensland University of Technology and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission. Road traffic accidents are a major cause of complex trauma in Queensland.
The Institute brings together key trauma services – quality and data analytics, injury prevention, clinical trials, innovation, diagnostics and translation, education and training, a virtual trauma centre, and rehabilitation and outcomes – with the goal of advancing trauma care across Queensland.
JTI is positioned within the Herston Health Precinct and is co-located with at a large metropolitan hospital alongside the Herston Imaging Research Foundation, QIMR Berghofer, The University of Queensland School of Medicine and UQ Centre for Clinical Research, the Queensland Health Clinical Skills Development Centre and more.
“I see JTI as the opportunity of a lifetime. Queensland has the chance to get ahead, to be first in the world, particularly with the digital agenda,” Professor Schuetz said.
“The Institute is young, and we can set up the culture early, to improve quality and reduce costs in trauma care, to increase value for the society.
“We’ve got to start by looking at the data and scale the problems. JTI will be able to have a central look at the available data on trauma: what occurred, how was it managed, what were the outcomes, and what was the cost.
“Then you can look at where will research make the most difference.”