Media releases

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April 2016

Bringing together Australia's best dementia researchers

Australian Dementia Forum 2016 The inaugural Australian Dementia Forum 2016 will be held in Brisbane from1 to 3 May 2016 and will feature an array of Australia’s foremost researchers on dementia alongside the leading experts from around the world. The forum will provide a unique blend of research, education, stimulation and networking. The Forum will cover four main themes over 3 days including Diagnosis/Assessment; Care/Living with Dementia; Intervention/Treatment; and Prevention. There...

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NHMRC opens public consultation on draft ethical guidelines for xenotransplantation research

NHMRC has opened public consultation on draft guidelines for the ethical review and conduct of clinical trials involving animal-to-human xenotransplantation. Xenotransplantation is the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another, such as from animals to humans.  Some animal materials are already used in humans, such as pig heart valves, but these are treated so they contain no living cells. In contrast, xenotransplants contain living cells that perform...

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March 2016

NHMRC awards funding into wind farms and human health

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has awarded two grants totalling $3.3 million to enrich the evidence-based understanding of the effects of wind farms on human health. NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso noted that further research is needed to explore the relationships between wind farms and human health. “Existing research in this area is of poor quality and targeted funding is warranted to support high quality, independent research on this issue. “To address this,...

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$129.4 million in grants to support medical research

The Turnbull Government today awarded $129.4 million in grants to Australia’s preeminent researchers helping fund Australia’s commitment to fostering the best and brightest in health and medical research. Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the grants focus on a range of health topics, including Indigenous health in the Northern Territory, developing an AIDS vaccine and tackling over-diagnosis in the Australian health sector. “This kind of research plays an important role in making...

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November 2015

$630 million for almost 900 innovative research projects

The Turnbull Government will invest more than $600 million to support Australia’s world-leading researchers to find the next prevention of disease or cure as it continues to drive innovation in Australia, Minister for Health Sussan Ley announced today. Ms Ley said over 2,000 researchers would share in the $630 million for projects including: obesity prevention; cancer genomics and hereditary diseases; a new medication to help treat severe ice addiction; new treatment for drug-resistant...

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New China partnership to support diabetes research

In the first collaboration between Australia’s and China’s peak health and medical research agencies, more than $4 million has been awarded to find new ways to prevent, predict and treat type 2 diabetes. A joint call by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) was announced in January this year, and the recipients were announced today by Australia’s Minister for Health, Sussan Ley The successful projects...

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October 2015

$43 million to continue search for a cure to dementia

Seventy-six researchers will share in $43 million to support bold and innovative new ideas to not only tackle the impacts of dementia but to find ways of preventing and curing the debilitating disease. Minister for Health Sussan Ley and Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham announced the fellowships as part of the Coalition Government’s $200 million election commitment to dementia research and to ensure Australia remained at the forefront of international best practice....

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New Australian partnership with United States to advance brain research

Australian researchers will soon be joining their American counterparts in one of the world’s most ambitious research efforts to understand the human brain. NHMRC and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) have today opened a joint funding round as part of the United States’ Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.  Under this collaboration, NHMRC will provide funding to support Australian researchers to participate in the BRAIN Initiative,...

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September 2015

Highest-ranked stars of medical research recognised

The Australians behind new research to combat diseases and conditions like cancer, depression and birth defects will be recognised tonight at a prestigious awards ceremony. Minister for Health Sussan Ley will present the annual National Health and Medical Research Council Research Excellence Awards at the NHMRC Council dinner in Canberra. Sixteen researchers will receive awards for having the top-ranked grant application in their category.  A further three researchers will be recognised...

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$5.8 million for international health research collaborations

More than $5 million has been awarded to Australian researchers collaborating with international experts to solve global health problems. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today announced 11 grants to support international collaborative research on health issues such as heart attacks, dementia, stroke and leukaemia.  Nine grants were awarded under the NHMRC – European Union Collaborative Research Grant scheme, and a further two were awarded under the NHMRC...

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August 2015

Top experts appointed to NHMRC committees

Experts in health ethics, policy, patient care and innovation are among those appointed to five National Health and Medical Research Council committees to help shape the future of Australia’s research sector.  The committees play the vital role of providing advice and guidance to the NHMRC Council and CEO, and are important pillars of the NHMRC as Australia’s premier body for administering medical research funding and issuing health and ethical guidelines.  The committees...

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New research to target type 2 diabetes in low and middle income countries

Three Australian research teams have been awarded grants as part of a global effort to combat the growing incidence of type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 300 million people worldwide. Worth a total of $5 million, the three projects were funded by the NHMRC as part of a multi-country grant call through the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD). The GACD comprises ten of the world’s leading health research funding organisations, including the NHMRC, and aims to reduce the...

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Abbott Government to tackle dementia research

Minister for Health Sussan Ley today launched a three-pronged approach to support and promote dementia research in the search of new treatments, models of care and ways of preventing the debilitating disease. Ms Ley today announced $35.6 million for six Dementia Research Team Grants that included the largest dementia clinical trial in the world for people aged 55 to 75 to test an online tool to reduce the risk of dementia, and...

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July 2015

Ten stellar stories of health and medical research

THE HON SUSSAN LEY MP Minister for Health Minister for Sport Ten Australian research grants that led to ground-breaking medical discoveries and important changes to health care have been highlighted in this year’s Ten of the Best Research Projects. The Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the stories were further evidence of Australia’s world-leading standing in medical research. “These research stories give us a glimpse into the next generation of treatments and medical...

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Appointments to key health and medical research body

THE HON SUSSAN LEY MP Minister for Health Minister for Sport   Leading medical researchers, academics, clinicians and administrators have been appointed to the Council of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, today announced 13 members of the Council of the NHMRC – Australia’s premier source of expert advice on health, research ethics and funding for research. “The NHMRC is an independent statutory authority...

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Feedback sought on draft revisions to ethical guidelines for assisted reproductive technology

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has today opened public consultation on draft changes to the clinical practice section of the Ethical Guidelines on the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Clinical Practice and Research, 2007.  Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is the application of laboratory or clinical techniques to human eggs, sperm or embryos for the purposes of reproduction. Compliance with these guidelines is a key part of accreditation for all...

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June 2015

Boost for mental health researcher in the development of online tool

THE HON SUSSAN LEY MP Minister for Health Minister for Sport Minister for Health Sussan Ley today congratulated Dr Philip Batterham on receiving the 2015 Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research for his work in the development of a mental health online support tool. Dr Batterham is a National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellow at the National Institute for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University and was...

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May 2015

Australian-first website to connect more patients with clinical trials

THE HON SUSSAN LEY MP Minister for Health Minister for Sport THE HON IAN MACFARLANE Minister for Industry and Science In an Australian-first patients will be given access to potentially life-saving clinical trials at their fingertips with the launch of an online one-stop shop today. Minister for Health Sussan Ley and Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said it will be easier for patients across Australia to take part in innovative medical research as the Abbott Government launched...

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NHMRC releases Statement and Information Paper on impacts of lead on human health

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has today released a Statement and Information Paper summarising the evidence on the effects of lead on human health. People’s exposure to lead has substantially reduced over recent decades due to national initiatives which have restricted the addition of lead to paint and petrol, and restricted the use of lead in consumer goods. The average blood lead level among Australians is now estimated to be less than 5 micrograms per...

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March 2015

New centres foster better health through research translation

Four Australian health centres have been recognised as being amongst the world’s best for using medical research to improve patient care.  The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley today announced all four as the first ever National Health and Medical Research Council Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres, following assessment by an international panel of experts. The Centres include hospitals, universities and medical research institutes collaborating together to foster...

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Public consultation opens on draft Principles and guidelines for the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes

The National Health and Medical Research Council has today opened public consultation on the draft Principles and guidelines for the care and use of non-human primates for scientific purposes. The document provides advice on best practice for the care and use of non-human primates and is intended to be read in conjunction with the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (8th edition, 2013). NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said the document plays an important...

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NHMRC CEO releases statement on e-cigarettes

The CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia has today released a statement summarising the evidence on the safety, quality and efficacy of e-cigarettes. It states that, “There is currently insufficient evidence to conclude whether e-cigarettes can benefit smokers in quitting, or about the extent of their potential harms. It is recommended that health authorities act to minimise harm until evidence of safety, quality and efficacy can be produced.  NHMRC is...

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New grants to support research commercialisation

New research grants to help transform medical research ideas into commercial outcomes were announced today. Worth $15.2 million, the 26 NHMRC Development Grants support the commercial development of a range of products, processes and procedures that if successfully developed, will result in improved health care, disease prevention or provide health cost savings. They include an injectible filler to repair bones, a new sperm sorting device to reduce male infertility and improve IVF outcomes and...

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$98 million to support large scale grants

Eleven grants worth an average of almost $9 million each to support big teams tackle big ideas were announced today. The NHMRC Program Grants support teams of high calibre researchers pursue broad, multi-disciplinary and collaborative research in some of the most complex areas of health and medical research. NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said the grants are the largest available from NHMRC and went towards long term studies conducted by world-leading researchers. “These grants...

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$6.4 million to support next generation of researchers

New grants to support and develop health and medical researchers at the beginning of their careers were announced today. The NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships were awarded to 69 outstanding health and medical graduates to support them to complete a PhD or Masters Degree. NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said Postgraduate Scholarships were crucial to ensuring Australia had the capacity to conduct high quality health and medical research in the future. “The recipients of these grants have...

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Collaborative research promises to deliver better outcomes for patients

Collaboration is key in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council grants announced today by Minister for Health Sussan Ley. Two new grants supporting partnerships between researchers from Australia and the United Kingdom, and five grants that will see top Australian researchers partnering with health-based organisations and governments are set to get underway. Worth a total of $3.7 million, these projects will seek to improve outcomes for patients and people with...

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Targeted Call for Research into Wind Farms and Human Health now open

The National Health and Medical Research Council has today opened a Targeted Call for Research (TCR) into Wind Farms and Human Health. The TCR will support research that addresses one or both of the following issues: The relationship between wind farm noise and health effects. The broader social and environmental circumstances that influence annoyance, sleep disturbance, quality of life and health effects that are reported by residents living in proximity to wind farms. The call for research...

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NHMRC announces new gender equity policy

The National Health and Medical Research Council has today announced a new gender equity policy to support the retention and progression of women in health and medical research. The revised Administering Institution Policy aims to address the underrepresentation of women in senior research positions across Australia and applies to all institutions that receive NHMRC funding. In 2014, women accounted for 63% of all applications for NHMRC’s early career fellowships, but this figure fell to...

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Up to $25 million for research to prepare Australia for genomics revolution

The National Health and Medical Research Council has opened a Targeted Call for Research into Preparing Australia for the Genomics Revolution in Health Care. One successful team will receive up to $25 million across five years to conduct their research, making it one of the largest grants in NHMRC’s history. Genomics is the study of genes, their functions, and how the way they interact influences growth, development, and health throughout life. It is increasingly being recognised as one...

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NHMRC releases statement and advice on homeopathy

The National Health and Medical Research Council today released a statement concluding that there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy is effective in treating health conditions.  Its release follows a thorough review of the evidence, conducted as part of NHMRC’s responsibility to provide advice and support informed health care decisions by the Australian community. The conclusion is based on the findings of a rigorous assessment of...

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