Uni gets $11 million research boost

Friday, 12 November 2004

The University of Adelaide has again received major national recognition for the quality of its research, with 26 new project grants awarded for medical, dental and biomedical fields totalling more than $11 million.

The funding was announced today by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and forms part of significant grants Australian researchers will receive over five years for research into the nation's major health problems, including cancer and heart disease.

The University of Adelaide's total funding over four years is $11,160,623 and the strength of this institute's research in reproductive medicine and the healthy development of children has again been recognised with substantial project funding, six new Fellowships, one renewal and four Career Development grants.

Professor Neville Marsh, the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), expressed his delight in attracting this amount of funding.

"We are extremely pleased to see that the University of Adelaide has again performed well in attracting funding for research which has the potential to make a real impact on the health and well-being of the community," Professor Marsh said.

"The funding of projects in areas as diverse as pregnancy, dental health, methadone treatment, and the molecular biosciences testifies to the breadth and depth of our work in the health and medical fields."

Professor Caroline Crowther, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, will receive $989,250 in two grants over five years for projects on Planned vaginal birth or planned elective repeat Caesarean for women at term with a single previous Caesarean section, and Repeated Prenatal Corticosteroids: effects on childhood development, behaviour, growth and health.

Dr Maria Makrides, from the Child Health Research Institute based at the Women's & Children's Hospital and a Senior Research Fellow in the University's Department of Paediatrics, won the largest grant of $1.6 million over four years for A Randomised Trial of DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) in Pregnancy to Prevent Postnatal Depressive Symptoms and Enhance Neurodevelopment in Children.

The University's Faculty of Sciences was also well represented receiving $2.7 million.

"The research strength within the Faculty of Sciences is again highlighted by the outstanding success rate in this latest round of funding. This excellent outcome reinforces that we are a national leader in Biomedical research," said Professor Peter Rathjen, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Sciences.

"It is pleasing that the success rate within the Faculty of Sciences is once again above the national average, reinforcing once again our research strength in Biomedical Science and Biotechnology.

"I am particularly pleased to see large grants awarded to some of our new recruits, indicating the success of our strategies to renew and augment the research base for South Australia," Professor Rathjen said.

Other projects receiving grants include:

  • Androgen receptor measurements as a tool for staging early prostate cancer.
  • Birth defects and infertility treatment.
  • The effects of "Ecstasy" in humans.
  • Effects of socio-economic status on stress, immune function and gum disease.

The projects funded in this latest NHMRC round include those from the University of Adelaide's Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Sciences, and their research partners at the Women's & Children's Hospital, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Child Health Research Institute and Institute of Medical & Veterinary Science.


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