$58m boost for Sydney medical research

5 December 2016

University of Sydney researchers have received more than $58 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). 

University of Sydney researchers have received more than $58 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The funding will help develop new treatments for stroke, leukaemia and Parkinson’s disease, improve melanoma prevention and create a new nasal spray for alcohol dependence.

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso announced the grants on Saturday, with University of Sydney researchers receiving 53 Project Grants as well as two Career Development Fellowships for mid-career researchers. The grants include:

  • A Project Grant to Professor Michael Dibley ($3.4m) to investigate whether cash transfers and behaviour change communications can reduce child undernutrition
  • A Project Grant ($2.7m) to Professor Iona Novak to improve the motor performance of infants with cerebral palsy
  • A Project Grant ($1.45m) to Associate Professor Wayne Hawthorne to bridge the gap in kidney transplantation through using pigs as donors
  • A Project Grant ($673,000) to Associate Professor Adam Guastella to trial an oxytocin nasal spray for alcohol dependence
  • A Project Grant ($1m) to Dr Anne Cust to improve melanoma prevention using personalised genomic risk models as motivation for at-risk individuals
  • A Project Grant ($1m) to Associate Professor Luke Henderson to investigate how and why chronic pain develops
  • A Project Grant ($1m) to Professor Louise Baur to explore the efficacy of alternate day fasting diets in obese teens
  • A Project Grant ($557,000) to Dr Benjamin Parker to create the world’s first molecular blueprint of exercise
  • A Career Development Fellowship ($470,000) to Associate Professor Vitali Sintchenko to consider how genomic surveillance can be used to control disease outbreaks.

These results come just weeks after the University of Sydney received $22 million from the NHMRC for 34 grants and fellowships (the most out of any institution in Australia), including for the establishment of a new Centre for Research Excellence in Indigenous Health and a number of fellowships to support early career researchers.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison said the results highlighted the University’s strength in medicine, which is ranked1st in Australia and 17th in the world

“The University of Sydney is consistently ranked as one of the world’s best universities for medicine. We are proud to support some of the best medical researchers in the world to develop new preventions and treatments for diseases such as cancer and to improve the health and wellbeing of millions around the world” he says. 

Last month, University of Sydney researchers also received $31 million from the Australian Research Council to pursue 79 projects in 2017 – from improving our understanding of stars and planets and designing the clean energy highway, to understanding how we maintain vitamin D levels in winter and examining the human rights abuses of migrant workers.

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