National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grants support the four pillars of health and medical research - biomedical, clinical, public health and health services research - and researchers at all career stages. The scheme is designed to allow flexibility to pursue important new research directions, to form collaborations, and to foster innovative and creative research.
Researchers at the University of Sydney have been granted more than $48 million over five years in the 2023 NHMRC Investigator Grants, funding 23 projects to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems across the spectrum of health and medical research.
The projects awarded range from gender-informed prevention of mental health and substance use problems, to generating and testing falls and mobility impairment solutions, and using artificial intelligence to understand impaired sensory processing in autism.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston said,
“The success of our science, medicine and health researchers in the Investigator scheme demonstrates our outstanding capabilities across all four pillars of health and medical research. The diversity of research we undertake at Sydney to improve health outcomes for people everywhere really is impressive.
“Once again, this round of the scheme is characterised by the exceptionally strong performance of our female and early or mid-career colleagues, with 16 women, five associate professors and nine doctors receiving awards. It is also terrific to see that so many awardees are members of our multi- and interdisciplinary research centres. The Matilda Centre team deserves a particular mention, with four researchers receiving funding this round.
“I congratulate all our researchers on their success, and I am proud that we are building an interconnected health and medical research ecosystem where everybody can flourish.”
See below for highlights and a full list of the successful researchers.
“Nutrition offers huge untapped potential to prevent and treat disease, acting on the shared immune and metabolic systems that simultaneously contribute to many age-related diseases.”
“We have developed powerful modelling frameworks for understanding how the many interacting dimension of nutrition influences chronic-, obesity- and age-related diseases. We will now use these models to address the other major group of human diseases, infections.”
“The project will involve nutrition scientists, modellers, immunologists, epidemiologists, clinicians and many others, in an integrated, interdisciplinary program based at the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre.”
Dr Emily Stockings from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Matilda Centre
“This project will address the rapidly rising rates of youth vaping by monitoring vaping trends and engaging the voice of young people to develop preventive resources for use in schools and community settings.”
“This innovative project will use iterative co-design approaches to develop resources to prevent and reduce vaping in young people. We will bring these to scale via implementation into health, community and school settings.”
“By adopting a holistic approach to vaping prevention, this project will develop new resources to reduce vaping and improve young people’s overall physical and mental health, coping strategies, and their engagement with health and community services.”
“This research will discover how ageing influences the liver’s regulation of the immune system and how this contributes to inflammation in age-related diseases.
The next step is to modify nanomedicines that we have created to treat and prevent diabetes, to prevent age-related diseases by targeting the liver’s immune roles.”