$11 million to improve the health of all Australians

Professor James Paton in a laboratory

Improving human health is the aim of $11.6 million in new research awarded to the University of Adelaide today, including a major project to investigate tackling two serious infections with one vaccine.

In total, the University has been awarded nine new grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

A team led by Professor Helen Marshall (Deputy Director and Research Leader, Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide) and Associate Professor James Ward (Head of SAHMRI’s Sexual Health and Wellbeing program, Aboriginal Health Equity theme) has been awarded more than $1.29 million to investigate the efficacy of a meningococcal B vaccine (4CMenB) to prevent meningococcal disease and gonorrhoea.

“Working together with our partners and communities in the Northern Territory we have the opportunity to tackle two serious infections with one vaccine,’’ Professor Marshall said.

“As the bacteria causing the two quite different infections are genetically very similar there is good reason as to why the one vaccine may protect against both diseases.

“Prevention of meningococcal disease, a life-threatening infection, and gonorrhoea, which is associated with high rates of infertility, provides an exciting opportunity to really make a difference in the health of young people in the NT.”

Associate Professor Ward said: “With great partnerships with communities and health services in the NT, robust science and genuine commitment from researchers, I’m sure that this new investment from the NHMRC will be able to make a difference for young people across the NT in areas where we’ve not been able to make a significant impact over the last two decades.”

The University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks, said: “This new funding will lead to medical discoveries and the translation of the University of Adelaide’s world-leading science directly into health outcomes.

“The University of Adelaide has clearly defined industry engagement priorities in health, and a strategic commitment to tackling the grand challenge of improving health and wellbeing for the benefit of society. Today’s funding announcement is further evidence of how the University will achieve its aims,” he said.

Other University of Adelaide projects funded by the NHMRC today include :

$753,010 awarded to Professor Robert McLaughlin for : Development of a smart needle for safer, faster brain biopsies

$953,880 awarded to Professor Peter-John Wormald for : A novel medicated resorbable adhesion barrier device for use in abdominal surgery

$2,401,595 awarded to Professor James Paton for : Understanding and preventing pneumococcal disease

$1,504,485 awarded to Associate Professor Philippa Middleton for : Implementing nutrition and lifestyle interventions for women, young children and families

$583,551 awarded to Dr Thomas Sullivan for : Increasing the value of randomised trials: a combined program of methodological and applied health research

$625,750 awarded to Dr Yvonne Clark for : Improving wellbeing and preventing lateral violence in the Aboriginal community in SA: Investing in our young

$2,083,030 awarded to Professor Claire Roberts for : Health in pregnancy and beyond

$1,500,000 awarded to Professor Michael Horowitz for : Gastric emptying, glucagon-like peptide-1 and glycaemic control in diabetes and critical illness

Tagged in health, Health Sciences, medicine, NHMRC, funding