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Queensland researchers receive $13 million in the latest NHMRC grants for critical health and medical research

October 12, 2020 in

On 6 October, as part of the 2020-21 Budget the Treasurer, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP announced $6 billion over the next four years for health and medical research, with $3.5 billion allocated to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for research funding.

The NHMRC published the latest recipients to receive research grant funding and acknowledged Australia’s research sector’s rapid collaborative response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BDHP congratulates all of the Queensland research teams that together have secured more than $13 million in NHMRC funding. In particular, we acknowledge BDHP Partners – the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute for their success.

The latest NHMRC funding includes the following Queensland recipients.

Centres for Research Excellence (CRE)

  • Griffith University will administer $2.5 million in funding for the Centre of Research Excellence in Wiser Wound Care. This CRE will improve the care provided to hospitalised patients with wounds, resulting in better patient experiences and outcomes and savings to the health system.
  • The University of Queensland will administer $2.5 million for the Centre of Research Excellence on Achieving the Tobacco Endgame (CREATE). This CRE will develop a strategy to end the cigarette epidemic and reduce the healthcare burden from smoking-related diseases.

Partnership Projects (3rd call for 2019)

  • Implementation of Comprehensive High-dose Aphasia Treatment (CHAT). University of Queensland Professor David Copland leads this project to help better manage aphasia and improve the lives of stroke survivors.
  • The Limit of Detection in the Emergency Department Trial: A stepped-wedge cluster randomised trial for rapid assessment of patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome in the Emergency Department. Queensland University of Technology Associate Professor Jaimi Greenslade leads this research to evaluate a faster way to assess patients with chest pain in the emergency department.
  • Exposure to Trihalomethanes (THMs) in pregnancy and birth outcomes in Queensland: integrated data analysis and case studies for better policy and health outcomes. University of Queensland Associate Professor Abdullah Mamun leads this research, which may contribute to the advocacy for revising the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines for THMs.

Development Grants

  • New multivalent antibodies for immune-oncology. QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute Professor Mark Smyth leads this research aimed at developing new therapeutic approaches to broaden the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy and potentially allow the treatment of a broader range of cancers and patients.
  • Targeting complement C5a receptor 2 as a disease-modifying treatment for motor neuron disease. University of Queensland Associate Professor Trent Woodruff leads this research to test a novel drug in rodent models of MND, and validate its effectiveness in relevant MND immune cells. Ultimately, this project will identify a new potential drug for MND.
  • Preclinical development of Q2361, a transforming new drug for skin cancer prevention in organ transplant recipients. University of Queensland Dr James Wells Patients leads research into a new drug that may prevent skin cancers in patients who have received an organ transplant.
  • OctapeptinX Potentiators to treat XDR Gram-negative infections. University of Queensland Dr Mark Blaskovich leads this project, which aims to develop a novel class of potentiators, the octapeptins, to resurrect the activity of old antibiotics so they can be used to treat infections caused by highly-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.
  • Development of a first-in-class therapeutic for protecting the ischemic heart. University of Queensland Dr Nathan Palpant leads this project, which aims to develop Hi1a as a new drug for people who suffer from heart attacks.

Targeted Calls for Research

The Australian Government is investing $3.3 million in medical research at three universities to improve understanding of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In Queensland, Griffith University Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik will lead a project investigating the ion channels and calcium transfer, using immune cells to help develop biomarkers for the illness and discover better treatments for these patients.

Read the NHMRC Budget 2020-21 news article

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