The impact of pregnant mothers’ diets on their babies’ food allergies is one of 27 significant research projects at The University of Western Australia awarded more than $27 million in funding from the Federal Government.
Announcing the grants at UWA today, Aged Care Minister and Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt said they would cover a range of innovative research, including preterm birth, lung disease and dementia.
“This is a golden age for WA and Australian medical research, with projects that will save and protect lives,” Minister Wyatt said.
$3.6 million has been awarded to Dr Debra Palmer, Head of the Childhood Allergy and Immunology Research Team at the Telethon Kids Institute, who is undertaking a research trial to better understand the impact of food choices during pregnancy on childhood food allergies.
“Food allergies now affect more than one in every 10 children and recently, babies have been found to be on the path to developing a food allergy even before they start eating solid foods," said Minister Wyatt.
“Dr Palmer aims to determine whether mothers regularly eating more eggs and peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding will reduce allergies in their infants.”
UWA Associate Professor Peter Henry has been awarded $520,821 to support research into the treatment of asthma and other lung diseases.
“Many people have difficulty breathing because the airway tubes that move air in and out of their lungs are blocked by excessive amounts of sticky mucus,” said Minister Wyatt.
“This research will use new techniques to investigate whether a group of medicines called ‘macrolides’ can help people breathe more easily.”
Today’s research allocations come from the National Health and Medical Research Council’s flagship Project Grant scheme.
“This funding follows on from the Prime Minister’s October announcement of more than $200 million to medical research,” said Minister Wyatt.
“WA has many talented researchers and I congratulate every one of today’s grant recipients because their dedication and skills are helping secure a healthier future for Australia and the world.”
Details of research grants are available at www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants-funding/outcomes-funding-rounds.
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716