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$23 million for innovative health and medical research

15 December 2022
Sydney researchers receive 22 Ideas Grants
Chronic pain treatments, neuron interfaces, and genetically engineered treatments for eye and liver disease are among 22 research projects at the University of Sydney which were successful in the latest round of NHMRC funding.

Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and Health, Faculty of Science and the University’s multidisciplinary initiatives have been awarded more than $23.3 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for 22 Ideas Grant projects.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Emma Johnston, welcomed the announcement and congratulated the researchers who were awarded funding.

“These projects cover the entire spectrum from basic research through to breakthroughs on the cusp of clinical translation,” Professor Johnston said.

These projects cover the entire spectrum from basic research through to breakthroughs on the cusp of clinical translation
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston

“Biomedical research is reaching an exciting new stage where what was once considered science fiction is becoming routine in the laboratory and becoming more common in medical practice. Exciting breakthroughs in genetic engineering could lead to new treatments for hereditary eye and liver disease, while advances in neural interfaces will mean prosthetic limbs can send feeling and sensation to their users.”

The NHRMC Ideas Grants support researchers at all career stages undertaking innovative and creative research projects in any area of health and medical research from discovery to implementation. 

Highlights of the grants awarded to Sydney researchers in this round include:

  • Associate Professor Stefano Palomba from the Faculty of Science and the University of Sydney Nano Institute and his team were awarded $1.5m million to develop a proof-of-concept interface connecting the nervous system with bionic technologies to allow users to ‘feel’ the device just like the initial limb.
  • Associate Professor Leszek Lisowski from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Children’s Medical Research Institute will lead two projects that received a combined $2.3 million in grants. His team will develop new ways to use virus-like particles to deliver gene therapies for diseases of the retina and liver.
  • Dr Anai Gonzalez Cordero from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Children’s Medical Research Institute and her team were awarded $790,000 to investigate new ways to treat blindness using electrical stimulation to improve the success rate of retina cell transplants.
  • Associate Professor Mark Douglas from the Faculty of Medicine and Health’s Sydney ID, and the Westmead Institute for Medical Research and his team were awarded $1.2 million to optimise the treatment of Hepatitis B with new predictive biomarkers.
  • Dr Lipin Loo and Dr Arjun Muralidharan from the Faculty of Science and the Charles Perkins Centre both received Ideas Grants totalling $1.9 million to develop new targeted therapies and ways to treat chronic pain using new cell therapies and by targeting metabolic drivers of ageing.
  • Dr Samantha Ginn from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Children’s Medical Research Institute and her team received $1.4 million to use gene-editing tools to develop a new treatment for urea cycle disorders, a potentially life-threatening condition in children.

A full list of research projects administered by the University which received funding can be found on the NHMRC website.

Media contact

Matt Johnston

Assistant Media and PR Adviser (Medicine and Health)

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