A roundabout journey across three continents brought Professor Randy Bindra from his childhood home in India to the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct (GCHKP) where he innovates in orthopaedic surgery.
The softly-spoken Sikh did his medical training in India’s largest city, Mumbai, before doing further specialist studies in the UK and the US, then leaving Chicago for the sunny shores of Australia’s Gold Coast three and a half years ago.
With an Australian wife and the offer of work as a leading hand and wrist surgeon at the then brand new Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH), along with a Professorship at Griffith University, the appeal was obvious.
Since arriving, Professor Bindra has found ready research partners within Griffith’s health and engineering faculties, as well as a growing appetite for surgical training from Indian specialists keen to learn from his extensive experience in trauma, and his cutting-edge research to regrow nerves and ligament tissue.
For his patients it means access to the latest surgical techniques that help them regain the best possible use of their injured hands.
“We’re getting more advanced at planning and customising procedures through complex modelling and 3D printing,” Professor Bindra says.
“What’s really exciting is combining this with regenerative medicine for much more effective repair of wrist ligaments, better and faster patient recovery and reduced health costs, with less risk of patients developing arthritis down the track.”
A regenerative treatment for the small scapholunate ligament in the wrist is awaiting final results of animal trials conducted at both Griffith and in the US, along with funding to hopefully progress it into human clinical trials.
He is also working with biomedical engineers to test whether a wound repair technique called negative pressure, using a tiny vacuum device that they’re designing, can help nerves heal faster.
Professor Bindra, who was named Queensland Clinical Educator of the Year in 2016, travels twice a year to his birth country to pass on his knowledge, and in 2016 hosted 35 Indian surgeons in the GCHKP for specialised training.
He’s a key member of the Gold Coast Orthopaedic Research, Engineering & Education Alliance (gCORE), which is driving the evolution of orthopaedics through more complex medical imaging, computational analysis, regenerative treatments and advanced manufacturing.
It’s an exciting convergence of multi-disciplinary skills at the cutting-edge of biomedical engineering that positions the GCHKP to lead the way in personalised medical implants and surgeries.
Together with Griffith’s Head of Engineering School Professor Geoff Tansley and other Griffith colleagues, Professor Bindra is hoping to develop a masters program in orthopaedic technologies to support the skills needed for the jobs of the future.
With the Commonwealth Games set to commence, Professor Bindra jokes that he’ll be cheering for the Aussies, since he anticipates a huge medal haul.
And with India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist, shooter and namesake Abhinav Bindra now retired, he’ll also be hoping for success from up-and-coming Indian shooters, as well as the boxing and wrestling teams.
Asia-Pacific’s emerging health and innovation hub, the 200-hectare, the GCHKP is a unique global business location for high-tech industry development, research collaboration and jobs of the future – the next big thing for Australia’s fastest growing major city.
Supported by $5 billion in recent health, education and transport infrastructure and equipped with ultra-high speed fibre optic cabling, the Precinct is home to the GCUH, the world-class Griffith University and the new Gold Coast Private Hospital.
The GCHKP hosts the GC2018 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village, to be transformed into a vibrant $550 million mixed-use community to live, work and learn.