Improving treatment of viral infections in transplant recipients, determining whether testosterone slows biological ageing in men to improve health outcomes and developing a tool to diagnose and predict different types of diabetes are among 26 projects at The University of Western Australia to receive funding of more than $22 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti, head of experimental immunology and director of research at UWA’s Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science and Lions Eye Institute, was awarded $1.1 million for her research to develop pre-clinical models to determine how to improve treatment of viruses that occur after transplantation.
Viral infections are a common life-threatening complication in organ transplant recipients and there are limited treatment options due to recipients needing high levels of immune-suppressant drugs.
Professor Bu Yeap, head of UWA’s School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Fiona Stanley Hospital Unit, received $249,568 to research whether testosterone could slow biological ageing and improve health outcomes in men.
Testosterone is the principle male sex hormone which regulates sexual function and body composition in men. Testosterone levels decline with age, which can lead to major health problems.
Professor Tim Davis, head of UWA’s School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Fremantle Hospital Unit, was awarded $352,549 to investigate the development of diagnostic and predictive tool to characterise type of diabetes, progression and outcome.
An internationally recognised expert in diabetes and malaria, Professor Davis has contributed to Australia winning an important battle in the war against diabetes, with more patients avoiding the dangerous complications of the disease and living longer as a result of improved medical care.
Three Career Development Fellowships were also awarded to Dr Gianina Ravenscroft from Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research ($425,048), Dr James Fitzpatrick from Telethon Kids Institute ($340,038) and Dr Willem Lesterhuis from UWA’s School of Medicine and Pharmacology QEII Medical Centre Unit ($425,048).
The national funding total of $483 million will support 601 grants through four NHMRC funding schemes.
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716