Funding boost for Burnet research

Burnet Institute

13 August, 2018

Burnet Senior Research Fellow Dr Leanne Robinson

Burnet Institute research into malaria, sepsis, hepatitis, and the impact of new media on young people’s health, will share in AUD$200 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), and funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as part of an International Joint Call.

A total of 320 medical research projects Australia-wide will benefit from NHMRC grants worth $192 million to find solutions to a wide range of health challenges including cancer, cardiovascular disease, stillbirths and mental health.

MRFF grants totalling $7.4 million will support research into improved care for premature and sick babies, arthritis and osteoporosis, online treatments for youth depression and anxiety and improved health for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Burnet Senior Research Fellow Dr Leanne Robinson is leading a team that received a AUD$3 million grant as part of an International Joint Call, funded through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to fund a project to provide stronger surveillance to identify and contain vector-borne pathogens in Papua New Guinea. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, announced this grant at the recent Malaria World Congress in Melbourne.

Dr Robinson was also awarded a Career Development Fellowship to develop novel public health tools to control and eliminate parasitic disease of global priority.

“This (Career Development Fellowship) funding will facilitate the development and implementation of innovative public health strategies that have the capacity to reduce malaria and lymphatic filariasis transmission and accelerate progress towards their elimination,” Dr Robinson said.

“It’s an acknowledgement of my commitment and effort to date, but also of the quality of collaboration and support that I have received from colleagues, and will strengthen my ability to continue supporting and developing other researchers and their work.”

Dr Jack Richards’ funding will enable him to work with industry partners in the development of new diagnostic tests for malaria elimination.

“I will work with (diagnostics manufacturer) Axxin to develop my own ideas and advise on products they have in development,” Dr Richards said.

“So it’s a two-way thing – industry benefits, but we also benefit by being able to take our ideas directly to an industry partner.

“It’s a different way of thinking that they have, it’s cutting edge in terms of starting with an idea, designing something new, building a prototype and testing it out in the lab.

“It means I can focus on the Burnet team now and making sure that they’re well looked after and supported and secure in their roles.”

The full list of funding for Burnet researchers:

International Joint Call: DFAT funded

  • Dr Leanne Robinson – Stronger Surveillance and Systems Support for Rapid Identification and Containment of Resurgent or Resistant Vector Borne Pathogens in Papua New Guinea ($3,000,000).

Development Grant:

  • Associate Professor David Anderson – Development of a rapid, point of care test with high sensitivity for the diagnosis of sepsis based on CD64 ($737,221.40)

Career Development Fellowships:

  • Dr Jack Richards – Advancing diagnostics and vaccines for malaria elimination ($437,036)

  • Dr Leanne Robinson – Novel public health tools to control and eliminate parasitic diseases of global priority ($483,404)

  • Dr Megan Lim – New Media and Young People’s Health: towards evidence-based practice ($483,404)

  • Associate Professor Freya Fowkes - Malaria Immunity and Elimination of Artemisinin Resistance Reservoirs ($483,404)

Early Career Fellowship:

  • Dr Jack Wallace – Applying the essential elements of a public health response to hepatitis B ($307,192)

Contact Details

For more information in relation to this news article, please contact:

Professor Leanne Robinson

Program Director, Health Security and Pandemic Preparedness; Senior Principal Research Fellow, Group Leader, Vector-Borne Diseases and Tropical Public Health


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