A trial that aims to improve the treatment of severe asthma in children, how microRNAs can be used to treat liver cancer and improving primary care for Aboriginal mothers and babies in the Kimberley are among 29 research projects at The University of Western Australia to benefit from new medical grants.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Minister for Health Peter Dutton today announced 773 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants worth $538.8 million Australia-wide.
UWA was awarded $26.1 million in grants - representing more than 75 per cent of those 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 projects received the lion's share of the funding nationwide, with $98.9 million allocated across 156 grants.
Other UWA projects to receive funding include identifying disease genes for neurogenetic disorders using next generation sequencing, a study of children at familial high-risk of psychotic disorders and a treatment program for Aboriginal children living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
Early Career Fellowships worth a total of $2.2 million were awarded to seven young UWA researchers to develop their work on projects including evidence-driven strategies to reduce the burden of infections among Indigenous children, better care for Aboriginal people with persistent muscolo-skeletal pain, and population-based data linkage to investigate the health and development of children born after IVF.
Career Development Fellowships worth a total of $1.3 million were awarded to Assistant Professor Barry Doyle for patient-specific modelling of cardiovascular disease, Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger for the molecular pharmacology of receptor complexes, and Associate Professor Lindy Fitzgerald for innovative and multi-disciplinary treatment strategies for secondary degeneration following neurotrauma.
UWA was also awarded funding for Centres of Research Excellence. Winthrop Professor Jonathan Carapetis, Director of UWA's affiliate, Telethon Kids Institute, received $2.5 million to develop an endgame for rheumatic heart disease in Australia while Professor Timothy Jones, also from Telethon Kids Institute, received $2.5 million for research into improving the lives of young people with Type 1 diabetes.
A full summary of the 2013 funding round can be found at the NHMRC website.
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716