$10.6 million in crucial health and medical research

Image of vials in a medical laboratory

Investing in world-leading health and medical research projects to improve lives

The University of Adelaide has been awarded $10.6 million for seven research projects to investigate issues such as immune disorders impacting on pregnancies, the over-consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages, and how to assist women to lose weight before conceiving.

The funding is through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2021 Investigator Grant program, which invests in world-leading health and medical research projects to improve lives. 

Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) says the University of Adelaide has a strategic commitment to tackling the grand challenge of improving health and wellbeing for all society.

“This funding announcement allows our researchers to deliver on our health priority, contributing vital work to a range of important health and medical issues,” Professor Middelberg said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that funding health and medical research is crucial and we believe our researchers are well placed to help address some of the world’s most pressing health issues.”Professor Anton Middelberg, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Tthe University of Adelaide

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that funding health and medical research is crucial and we believe our researchers are well placed to help address some of the world’s most pressing health issues.”

Professor Sarah Robertson, Director of the Robinson Research Institute, has received $3.56 million to advance scientific understanding of human reproduction, fertility and pregnancy health.

“The immune response is a key driver of many infertility and pregnancy problems, and immune factors are emerging as strong targets for novel preventative and therapeutic interventions,” Professor Robertson said.

“We will develop new predictive diagnostics for immune-based reproductive and pregnancy disorders, and uncover the underlying causes.

“This will allow us to progress towards preventing and better managing these conditions, and improve fertility and birth outcomes for families in Australia and around the world.

“Reproduction and pregnancy disorders affect more than a hundred thousand Australian families every year, with long-term health and wellbeing impacts to women, men and children.

“Importantly, this work will translate knowledge into practise, delivering benefits to consumers, clinical practitioners and health care services.”

Funding has also been awarded to:

-    Professor Peter-John Wormald – $2,360,520 to continue to generate insights into how chronic sinusitis develops and allows targets for treatment to be identified. The research is focussed on the interaction between different bacteria and bacterial products in generating and prolonging chronic inflammation. This approach has already led to the generation of new therapies for treatment and for improving the outcomes after surgery.

-    Professor Jodie Dodd – $1,705,260 to advance healthy dietary and clinical advice for pregnant women, and to evaluate how best to assist women lose weight before conceiving. Approximately 50% of women are overweight or obese on entering pregnancy, placing women and their infants at increased risk of well-documented complications. 

-    Professor Caroline Miller – $1,449,800 to apply the lessons from tobacco control, where Australia is a world leader, to an area of public health where Australia lags; dietary risk and the over-consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages.

-    Associate Professor Zachary Munn – $645,205 to investigate and improve the quality and science of the synthesis of medical research through the development of an evidence synthesis taxonomy. This will be a comprehensive resource for policy makers, academics, clinicians, consumers and all others who are interested in rigorous and transparent methods of evidence synthesis for informing knowledge, policy and practice.

-    Dr Roula Ghaoui – $279,725 to identify the genetic bases of hereditary muscle disease using the latest genetic sequencing technology known as RNA-sequencing. The ultimate aim of the project is to help inform best practice guidelines for the diagnosis and management of patients with inherited myopathies and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy in Australia.

-    Dr Devendra Hiwase has received funding through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Priority Round – $620,205 to research therapy-related myeloid neoplasm, a poorly understood blood cancer associated with extremely poor clinical outcomes causing early death in otherwise long-term cancer survivors. The aim is to improve outcome of these patients by minimising the risks and developing rational combination therapies.

Tagged in Research; health; medical; funding