Image: Professor Mark Hogarth
Burnet Institute researchers and scientists have excelled in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding with the awarding of four new project grants and two postgraduate scholarships.
“Huge congratulations to the successful applicants from the Burnet this year,” Burnet Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC, said.
“Our success rate in this most competitive of granting systems continues to be well above the national average and this is a huge credit to the talent and commitment of our researchers.”
A project grant valued at more than AUD$1.25million will support Professor Paul Dietze’s research into the methamphetamine epidemic and its implications for service provision and harm reduction, as part of the VicMeth study.
“The Victorian methamphetamine cohort study is first study focused specifically on methamphetamine smoking in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria,” Professor Dietze said.
“It will shape our understanding of how methamphetamine use evolves over time and the key drivers of cessation and relapse and inform policy and practice around methamphetamine use in Australia over the coming decade.
“Established as a partnership between Burnet and Monash Rural Health using Colonial Foundation Trust funding, the new NHMRC grant will ensure the study continues for a further five years.”
Professor Mark Hogarth’s AUD$988,953 project grant will assist his cancer research into the structure and function of FcR IgG interactions, while Associate Professor Heidi Drummer receives AUD$936,752 for the development of a vaccine for hepatitis C.
Professor James Beeson will direct his AUD$668,640 project grant towards research into mechanisms and targets of antibody complement interactions that neutralise malaria.
“This grant will support our exciting work towards developing an effective malaria vaccine,” Professor Beeson said.
“Our project builds on our recent insights into how the immune system fights malaria infection and will aims to determine how to design new highly effective vaccines for malaria.
“Malaria is a major cause of deaths and illness globally, and a highly effective vaccine is urgently needed to achieve our long-term goals of malaria elimination.”
Postgraduate scholarships will further Dr Alyce Wilson’s studies into the risks of non-communicable diseases among Indonesian adolescents, and Clarissa Moreira’s research on the impact of infections, anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies on infant birth weight and growth.
The grants to Burnet researchers were among 732 health and medical grants announced in this latest allocation.
In 2017 NHMRC is providing more than AUD$877 million in total funding for health and medical research.