Burnet Institute researchers have been awarded more than $7.5 million in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grants, partnerships and fellowships grants for 2017.
Professor Gilda Tachedjian was thrilled to be awarded a Research Fellowship valued at $706,370 and two project grants to advance HIV drug development, and investigate pathogenic filoviruses.
“The Fellowship will allow me to implement my vision, which is to discover a new drug class for HIV treatment and prevention,” Professor Tachedjian said.
“As well to discover why young women in sub-Saharan Africa are more likely to be infected by HIV by studying the products of the bacteria in the lower female reproductive tract and how they can impact on HIV susceptibility and transmission.”
Dr Megan Lim’s project grant will support the expansion of the MIDY Study into mobile phone interventions to curb risky or binge drinking in young Australians.
“These grants are very difficult to get, but it shows that MIDY is worthwhile and it’s great to be able to put together a really exciting research project,” Dr Lim, Burnet’s Head of Sexual Health and Young People research said.
“It’s an opportunity to take this research to the next level with a bigger group of people.”
Dr Anna Bowring and Dr Tim Spelman have been awarded Early Career Fellowships.
Dr Bowring has been granted $408,768 to assess and compare methodologies for identifying and reaching vulnerable adolescent girls and young women and female sex workers in sub-Saharan Africa to determine the most effective methods of HIV prevention and treatment service delivery.
Dr Spelman’s grant valued at $318,768 will facilitate research into the new generation hepatitis C virus treatments.
These treatments are highly efficacious, but their high cost means multi-pronged approaches will be needed to reach elimination targets.
This project will use statistical and mathematical modelling to inform real world health economic evaluations determine the most cost-effective response to inform health policy in Australia and globally.
NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said the grants would support Australia’s best new and established researchers in the health and medical research sector.
Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the NHMRC grants would play a vital role in funding new research for treatments of diseases that affect Australians.
NHMRC Project Grants for 2017
Professor Paul Dietze - $1,189,791.35
Determining patterns of cessation and relapse in a cohort of people who inject drugs
Professor Gilda Tachedjian - $978,994.20
Targeting novel sites on reverse transcriptase for HIV treatment and prevention
Professor Gilda Tachedjian - $488,754.00
Intrinsic host antiviral activity against pathogenic filoviruses
Dr Andy Poumbourios - $743,682.36
Novel HIV-1 glycoprotein vaccines with enhanced presentation of broad neutralization epitopes
Professor Brendan Crabb AC - $625,212.00
Functional resolution of PTEX, the exporter of virulence factors in malaria parasites
Dr Michelle Boyle - $456,261.50
T-follicular helper cell subsets that induce protective anti-Plasmodium falciparum antibodies
Dr Megan Lim - $403,377.60
Mobile Intervention for Drinking in Young people (MIDY): randomised controlled trial
Early Career Fellowships
Dr Anna Bowring - $408 768.00
Implementation research to improve the uptake of antiretroviral therapy among key populations in sub-Saharan Africa
Dr Tim Spelman - $318,768.00
Eliminating HCV: statistical modelling and health economic evaluation in the new DAA era
Professor Gilda Tachedjian - $706,370.00
Antivirals for HIV Treatment and Prevention
Professor Margaret Hellard - $1,221,830.60
Eliminating hepatitis C transmission by enhancing hepatitis C care and treatment in primary health care settings