Funds for breast cancer, stroke and diabetes research
Friday, 12 November 2010
University of Adelaide health researchers have been awarded $22.8 million in Federal Government funding to help tackle some of the country's most serious health problems, including breast cancer, stroke and diabetes.
A total of 45 new National Health and Medical Research Council project grants were awarded to the University of Adelaide and partners, starting in 2011.
Breast cancer researcher Professor David Callen from the School of Medicine has won the biggest block of funding - $1.3 million - for three separate projects investigating the role of Vitamin D in breast cancer, as well as developing new pathways to stop the spread of tumours.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Australia, with 13,600 new cases diagnosed each year, claiming the lives of around 2800 women annually.
Professor Callen said two of the projects would help track pathways responsible for spreading cancer cells throughout the body. "These grants will fund cancer projects that are the culmination of more than 20 years of research," he says. "We have a particular focus on breast cancer, but it is apparent that the pathways are also critical in other cancer types."
The Head of the University's School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health, Professor Julie Owens, has been awarded the University's largest single grant - $891,732 - for a project investigating the link between growth-restricted babies and diabetes and obesity in later life.
"Babies who are born small go on to become diabetic and obese. We will be looking at the mechanisms that come into play resulting in impaired insulin sensitivity following fetal growth restriction," she says.
Among the other projects awarded to the University of Adelaide and its affiliates are:
- $1.08 million to Professor Caroline Crowther (School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health) for two individual projects: $632,979 to investigate whether the right diet and lifestyle can help treat borderline gestational diabetes in pregnant women; and $447,281 to review the link between corticosteroids and improved health in pre-term babies;
- $744,021 to Professor Wayne Tilley (School of Medicine) to research the role that male hormones play in protecting women from developing breast cancer and improving treatment options;
- $662,065 to Associate Professor Kaye Roberts-Thomson (School of Dentistry) to test a non-invasive treatment for dental decay in young children;
- $590,048 to Associate Professor Simon Koblar (School of Medicine) for a project to understand the role of a gene his group has discovered in repairing the brain after stroke.
"This funding demonstrates the depth and quality of our health and medical researchers, and the commitment they have shown over many years to finding breakthroughs for some of society's most critical health problems," he says.