11 January 2022

NHMRC welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, of more than $2.8 million to support international collaborations in health and medical research through NHMRC’s participation in the e-ASIA Joint Research Program. 

These projects seek to address known and emerging research gaps and challenges, increase scientific impact and build research capacity in the fields of infectious diseases and cancer. 

This funding will support the Australian component of four collaborative research projects focusing on research in the East Asia region. The international partner research teams will be funded by their national funding agencies in Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States. These collaborating countries are committing a combined USD 1,124,346 and in-kind support to these projects.

“NHMRC’s membership of the e-ASIA Joint Research Program enables our involvement in multilateral research projects in the East Asia region. It’s a great opportunity to foster collaboration between Australian researchers and colleagues in the region to solve shared health challenges,” NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said.

Funding will support important new research on:

  • novel cancer therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma, which represents most primary adult liver cancer cases, and for neuroblastoma, the most common cancer in the first year of life
  • antibody responses to mosquito saliva proteins in human blood to develop more effective malaria surveillance tools
  • use of pre-exposure antiretroviral medication to reduce HIV transmission in East Asia
  • innovative diagnostic and surveillance tools for the elimination of Asian schistosomiasis, a severely debilitating and often fatal, chronic parasitic disease.

Research funding recipients

Chief Investigator Application Title Administering Institution Budget
Doctor Penfei Cai Innovative point-of-care diagnostics and environmental surveillance tools for the elimination of Asian schistosomiasis The Council of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research $749,987
Associate Professor Jason Ong Ending HIV transmission by Optimizing Pre-exposure prophylaxis in East Asia (HOPE) Monash University $667,191
Professor Freya Fowkes Vector sero-surveillance tools to accelerate malaria eliminationVector sero-surveillance tools to accelerate malaria elimination Burnet Institute $745,125
Associate Professor Tao Li Targeting MYCN/NCYM for cancer therapy University of New South Wales $699,317

*In order of grant ID.

NHMRC Media Team
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E: media@nhmrc.gov.a