A generational study into obesity, the use of the anti-depressant fluoxetine to aid stroke recovery and the treatment of gastroenteritis among Aboriginal children are among 48 research projects at The University of Western Australia to benefit from new medical grants totalling almost $30 million.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Minister for Health Peter Dutton this week announced 957 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants worth $555 million Australia-wide.
UWA was awarded $29.9 million in grants - representing more than 90 per cent of the grants allocated to WA and placing the University sixth in the list of top 20 Australian universities by level of funding.
Grants won by UWA researchers will go towards a broad range of projects, many of which focus on the national health priority areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health, diabetes, injury, obesity, dementia, arthritis and asthma. Cancer received the lion's share of the funding nationwide, with $128 million allocated across 225 grants.
Other UWA projects to receive funding include further research into the treatment of preterm infants with respiratory problems, therapy for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy cardiomyopathy, determinants of hospitalisation for common childhood illnesses, the targeting of early multiple sclerosis with UVB phototherapy, and new therapies to prevent airway inflammation in cystic fibrosis.
Early Career Fellowships worth a total of $3.1 million were awarded to 10 young UWA scientists to develop their work on projects including physical activity, sitting and cancer, the clinical and neurobiological overlap between schizophrenia and autism, how neighbourhood environments shape adolescent health, emu oil and protection from experimentally-induced ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and enhancing life outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
Established Career Fellowships were awarded to Professor Timothy Davis for clinical studies of diabetes and tropical infectious diseases, Professor Susan Prescott for her research into the early life origins of health and disease, and Professor Helen Leonard.
Professor Aleksandra Filipovska received an NHMRC Research Fellowship for research on the regulation of mitochondrial gene expression in disease, while Professor Steve Webb received an NHMRC-European Union Collaborative Research Grant for his work on PREPARE-Australia - the Platform foR European Preparedness Against (Re-)emerging Epidemics-Australia.
UWA received an additional $673,328 for research into hearing loss.
The full summary of the 2013 funding round can be found at the NHMRC website.
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 00 700 783