University welcomes NHMRC grant funding

The University of Melbourne has welcomed funding as part of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Grants, announced today by Minister for Health Greg Hunt.

In total, 75 grants make up the funding that has been awarded by the NHMRC to researchers from the University of Melbourne.

Some of the University research supported by these grants include projects that aim to:

  • Develop a computerised tool to help GPs make better decisions about prescribing antibiotics, reducing unnecessary prescriptions. Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis has been awarded a Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) Fellowship to for her work on improving how antibiotics are prescribed in general practice.
  • Investigate why Indigenous Australian children enter the child protection system at a disproportionately high rate and how this affects their health, led by Professor Sandra Eades.
  • Determine if the type of anaesthesia affects long-term survival in patients having cancer surgery, led by Professor Bernhard Reidel (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre).
  • Develop an optical sensor for detecting foetal distress in labour, led by Dr Fiona Brownfoot. The most accurate and reliable way of identifying birth asphyxia – a leading cause of cerebral palsy, developmental delay and death in term babies – is by measuring foetal blood pH.
  • Discover how a delicate balance between two immune cells contributes to the progression of rheumatoid arthritis, the severest form of Australia’s most common chronic disease, led by Dr Adrian Achuthan (Royal Melbourne Hospital).

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Jim McCluskey said other project grants will continue to support research in basic science, clinical medicine, health services and public health.

“We also celebrate the work of Professor Felicity Baker who received a Boosting Dementia Research Grant for her research on how music therapy can help people living with dementia, as well as their carers," Professor McCluskey said.

“Supporting the next generation of Graduate Researchers is vital, and I am delighted to announce that the University was also awarded NHMRC funding for 12 postgraduate scholarships. These grants support outstanding graduates early in their career, building their capacity to conduct internationally competitive, independent research.

“The NHMRC invests in the highest quality health and medical research, and the latest round of funding underpins the universities ability to enrich and transform lives through our world-class research. I extend my congratulations and appreciation to all staff who have contributed to these significant efforts.”