NHMRC Ideas Grants

Burnet Institute

09 December, 2019

Image: Burnet Institute Postdoctoral Scientist and NHMRC Ideas Grant recipient, Dr Herbert Opi

Burnet research into malaria, and maternal and child health will benefit from Ideas Grants for 2020 awarded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Postdoctoral scientist Dr Herbert Opi will receive AUD$608,764 towards the identification of targets of immunity to advance the development of a vaccine against Plasmodium vivax.

Senior Research Officer Dr Rowan Martin-Hughes has been awarded AUD$561,646 to build an investment case to catalyze funding for maternal, newborn and child health.

“Maternal, newborn and child health in Papua New Guinea is in a dire state, with alarmingly high maternal and child mortality rates,” Dr Martin-Hughes said.

“This Ideas Grant will use innovative modelling to determine how limited funding for maternal, newborn and child health can be optimally allocated across World Health Organization recommended interventions to maximise health outcomes.

“An evidence-based investment case will be produced for how to improve the efficiency of existing funds and leverage additional funds necessary to reach the Sustainable Development Goal targets.”

A Clinical Trials Grant valued at AUD$1,459,971 will enable Burnet Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination, Dr Joseph Doyle to conduct a paradigm-changing trial assessing the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a same-visit hepatitis C testing and treatment model of care for people who inject drugs.

The grant was awarded to Dr Doyle through his role as an Infectious Diseases Research Group Leader at Monash University.

NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships were awarded to:

  • Brendan Harney ($90,947) – Achieving and sustaining hepatitis C elimination among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men living with HIV
  • Michael Traeger ($67,660) – Epidemiology and Prevention of Sexually Transmissible - Infections among Gay and Bisexual Men in the Era of HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis
  • Dr Suman Majumdar ($108,852) – Towards ending a multidrug-resistant tuberculosis outbreak in Papua New Guinea

A total of 495 projects will receive funding from the NHMRC following a competitive process.

Projects include AUD$68 million for cancer research, $58 million for cardiovascular research and $27 million for genomics research, and comprise the outcomes of the first rounds of the new grant program schemes for Ideas Grants, Synergy Grants, and Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Grants.

Contact Details

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

Doctor Herbert Opi

Honours Coordinator


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