Professor Paul Dietze, Burnet Institute Program Director, Behaviours and Health Risks
Burnet research into a range of fields including opioid overdose, malaria immunity, maternal and child nutrition, and susceptibility to HIV will benefit from the latest round of grants worth more than AUD $3.3million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Heading the list is a Project Grant worth $864,410 to Professor Gilda Tachedjian for research into a vaginal microbiota metabolite and its impact on epithelium integrity and HIV susceptibility.
“Globally, every week 7000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV,” Professor Tachedjian said.
“We are thrilled to be awarded this highly competitive NHMRC grant which will provide much needed funding to investigate how a factor produced by beneficial bacteria augments the vaginal mucosal barrier to prevent HIV acquisition. Our findings will inform the development of novel strategies to prevent HIV in vulnerable women.”
A Project Grant valued at $516,048 will support econometrician Dr Nick Scott (pictured above) in studies aimed at improving maternal and child nutrition and health in Papua New Guinea through multisectoral resource optimisation.
Burnet Program Director, Behaviours and Health Risks, Professor Paul Dietze receives $789,978 for his research into the use of intranasal naloxone for the reversal of opioid overdose.
“Importantly, intranasal naloxone has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia in 2018,” Professor Dietze said.
“We now have this important alternative to intramuscular naloxone, but there’s much work to be done to determine effects beyond simple reversal, and we need to know more about how intranasal naloxone works in real-world overdose situations.”
Burnet research into malaria will benefit from a $580,476 Project Grant for Associate Professor Freya Fowkes (pictured above) for her work on immunity, elimination and drug resistance; and an International Joint Call worth $495,790 for Dr Jack Richards to investigate the integration of geospatial surveillance for infectious diseases with malaria elimination activities in Vietnam.
Postgraduate scholarships were awarded to Penelope Hill, Michael Curtis and Bridget Draper for their public health studies into opioid overdose, opioid substitution therapy, and the provision of hepatitis C testing and treatment in resource-constrained settings.
NHMRC funding totalling $526 million will support a total of 682 health and medical research projects covering eight funding schemes with funding for each state and territory.