Burnet awarded over $9.2 million in NHMRC grants

Burnet Institute

12 October, 2022

Image: Professor Caroline Homer has been awarded funding for a project aiming to reduce maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths in the Asia-Pacific region.

Burnet Institute researchers have been awarded over AUD$9.2 million in funding in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grants announced today.

Five projects across malaria, HIV, hepatitis C, and reducing maternal and newborns deaths received funding.

Burnet Co-Program Director Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Professor Caroline Homer AO, was awarded funding for a project aiming to reduce maternal and newborn deaths and stillbirths by transforming midwifery in the Asia-Pacific region through research and innovation.

“It is an incredible honour to get one of those grants,” Professor Homer said.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for me to pursue the work I’ve been doing around midwifery leadership across the Asia Pacific region.

“I congratulate all of those who were awarded grants and commiserate with those who weren’t.”

Burnet Program Director Health Security and Pandemic Preparedness, Professor Leanne Robinson, will receive funding to develop and test new public health strategies to reduce the burden of parasitic vector-borne diseases in low-income countries, especially Papua New Guinea.

“My vision is to improve the health of communities that have a high – yet often unrecognised – burden of parasitic vector-borne diseases, particularly malaria and lymphatic filariasis,” Professor Robinson said.

Burnet Deputy Program Director, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Professor Freya Fowkes, will be using her Investigator Grant to work with partners to provide evidence for the most effective malaria prevention strategies and improve surveillance so that every last malaria infection is detected, treated and eliminated.

“My program aims to change policy and advance progress towards the goal of malaria elimination in the Asia-Pacific by 2030,” Professor Fowkes said.

Burnet public health physician Dr Tafireyi Marukutira has been awarded funding to evaluate the national HIV public health program in Botswana, looking at what lessons can be learnt from it to ensure equitable access to care for migrants living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

Burnet infectious diseases physician Dr Amanda Wade will be using implementation research to improve hepatitis C testing and treatment in rural and regional Australia.

Today’s announcement was also notable for the news that from 2023 the NHMRC will award equal numbers of Investigator Grants to women and men in a new intervention to address gender inequities in research funding.

Professor Homer, who is the Chair of the NHMRC Council, said the announcement was a really significant step forward for gender equity, and followed significant consultation across the sector.

“The NHMRC will be leading the world in doing this, no one else globally has done anything like this before,” she said.

“This important initiative really addresses the structural biases and challenges that we know impact on gender equity across the medical research sector.”

Contact Details

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

Professor Caroline Homer AO

Burnet Executive Team; Co-Program Director, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health; Working Group Head


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