NHMRC Ideas Grant for Burnet HIV research

Burnet Institute

04 November, 2021

Image: Dr Anna Hearps, Burnet Institute Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination

A Burnet Institute project to address a neglected problem in HIV cure research has been awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Ideas Grant.

The research, led by Dr Anna Hearps, Burnet Institute Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination, focuses on a poorly understood area – the ability of HIV to infect a type of immune cell called macrophages.

“These cells can be infected and hide in various tissues around the body including the gut, the lungs and the brain, and they’re one of the major reasons why we can’t cure HIV,” Dr Hearps said.

“We’ve developed a model which enables us to grow and infect these cells in a lab and we can use this model to identify ways to target these cells to help eliminate HIV.

“I’m delighted and honoured to be awarded the grant to look into this aspect of HIV research and excited to be working with a fantastic team here at Burnet and also collaborators at the Doherty Institute and in Sydney to achieve the goals of the grant.”

This research is one of 248 innovative projects to share in $239 million in funding through the NHMRC Ideas Grant scheme.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, The Hon Greg Hunt, said Australia continues to take a lead role in improving the lives of patients around the world through health and medical research.

“These projects demonstrate the outstanding innovation of the health and medical research sector in Australia and offer great promise for future advances in our understanding and management of health challenges,” Minister Hunt said.

NHMRC CEO, Professor Anne Kelso, said NHMRC’s Ideas Grant scheme supports innovative and creative research and builds on Australia’s strong skills and international reputation in advanced health and medical research.

“The Ideas Grant scheme is highly competitive and delivers projects at the leading edge, many very early in the discovery process. We look forward to following the research funded today and seeing the outcomes from these important grants,” Professor Kelso said.

Each Ideas Grant team will receive funding for up to five years, with funding commencing in 2022.

Contact Details

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

Doctor Anna Hearps

Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination


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