Research funds to help treat ovarian diseases

Friday, 19 November 2010

University of Adelaide reproductive health specialist Professor Ray Rodgers will use a $765,370 research fellowship to help prevent and treat ovarian diseases, which are a major cause of infertility.

Professor Rodgers, from the University's School of Paediatrics and Reproductive Health and the Robinson Institute, has been awarded a five-year NHMRC Research Fellowship for this project, starting in 2011.

The endocrine specialist and his research team will look at key aspects of ovarian function to better understand the role that ovaries play on a woman's overall health.

"Reproductive health critically impacts on a woman throughout her life, irrespective of her choice to have children," Professor Rodgers says.

"The ovary governs physiological events and health at puberty, across the menstrual cycle, during the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy, and at birth, lactation and menopause.

"Despite recent advances, many aspects of ovarian function are poorly understood," Professor Rodgers says.

The major health burdens concerning ovaries are polycystic ovarian syndrome, premature ovarian failure and assisted reproductive technologies to treat infertility.

"Our goal is to learn more about ovarian function so we can help prevent ovarian-related diseases and also develop treatment strategies for these," he says.

Professor Rodgers is one of three University of Adelaide researchers to receive NHMRC Research Fellowships, announced this week, totalling $2.1 million over five years.

The other two are titleholders Professor Sharad Kumar from SA Pathology ($780,850 Fellowship) and Associate Professor Allison Cowin ($570,640 Fellowship) from the Women's and Children's Health Research Institute.

Professor Kumar is Co-Director of the Centre for Cancer Biology at SA Pathology and an affiliate Professor of Medicine at the University of Adelaide. This reappointment as an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow will allow him to continue research on the functions of cell death and inactivating proteins (ubiquitination), and their roles in diseases such as cancer, hypertension, lung inflammation and anaemia.

Associate Professor Cowin, an affiliate with the University's Discipline of Surgery, will use the research funds to look at new technologies to promote healing of chronic wounds, such as burns and ulcers.


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