$13.5 million research win for a healthier future

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Research aimed at combating breast and prostate cancer, identifying the underlying causes of early onset Alzheimer's disease, and improving the lifetime health of embryos used in IVF – these are just some of the new projects at the University of Adelaide that have won more than $13.5 million in federal funding today.

Fifteen new Project grants and one Career Development Fellowship have today been awarded to University of Adelaide researchers from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Six of these researchers will receive more than $1 million each for their potentially life-saving work:

Professor Wayne Tilley (Adelaide Medical School) has been awarded more than $1 million for research into "the clinical significance of sex hormone crosstalk in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer"; and a further $946,176 for "dual targeting of the androgen receptor for effective and durable control of lethal prostate cancer".

Associate Professor Lisa Jamieson (Adelaide Dental School) has been awarded more than $1.5 million to investigate "human papillomavirus (HPV) and oropharyngeal cancer in Indigenous Australians".

Dr Peter Arrow (Adelaide Dental School) has been awarded more than $1.4 million for studying a "minimally invasive approach to manage early childhood caries in Aboriginal pre-schoolers".

Associate Professor Rebecca Robker (Robinson Research Institute) has been awarded more than $1.1 million for "re-energising the preimplantation embryo to extend lifetime health".

Professor Ghil’ad Zuckermann (School of Humanities), working with Professor Alex Brown (SAHMRI), has been awarded more than $1.1 million for "examining the impact of language reclamation on social and emotional well being among the Barngarla".

Associate Professor Simon Barry (Robinson Research Institute) has been awarded more than $1 million for "identification of the conformation dependant targets of autoimmune disease linked variation in human regulatory T cells".

Among the other grants awarded, biomechanics expert Dr Dominic Thewlis has received a $425,048 Career Development Fellowship to join the University of Adelaide's School of Medicine for his project, "improving the functional outcomes of lower limb orthopaedic surgery".

"The University of Adelaide continues to demonstrate its leadership in health and medical research that is delivering tremendous benefits to the community," says the University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks.

"Today's announcement brings the total research funds awarded to the University of Adelaide over recent weeks to $31.5 million, all from highly competitive funding sources."

For more information about research at the University of Adelaide, visit: www.adelaide.edu.au/research

For full results of the NHMRC funding announcement, visit the NHMRC website.

Among the researchers whose work is highlighted by the NHMRC is Associate Professor Rebecca Robker from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Research Institute. She has been awarded more than $1.1 million for her project, "re-energising the preimplantation embryo to extend lifetime health".

Associate Professor Robker says: "The egg contains all of the building blocks to form an embryo, including the machinery that sets an individual’s metabolism during the earliest phases of embryo development. But when females are obese, these building blocks are not set up optimally. We will determine how such disruptions affect embryo development and contribute to poor health in adulthood. We'll test ways to restore the natural process, with potential impacts for improvements in assisted reproduction and for lifetime health."


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Mr David Ellis
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