Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
29 August 2019

The Morrison Government will invest over $440 million in world-leading health and medical research projects to improve the lives of all Australians. 

Our Government will strengthen Australians’ health through research to prevent illness and deliver better health care.

A total of 298 new projects will receive funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The University of Adelaide will receive $1.3 million for a targeted vaccination program trial for children and young adults in the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Titled “Gono B Gone” the program trial will evaluate the effectiveness of the 4CMenB vaccine against gonorrhoea and meningococcal disease. 

As no gonorrhoea vaccine exists, and due to increasing antimicrobial resistance, even a small impact on this disease through vaccination will be important not only for high risk groups in Australia, but also internationally.

Gonorrhoea rates have tripled in Australia in the past 10 years with highest prevalence in Aboriginal youth (20% of remote-dwelling 16-19-year-olds) and there has been a 4-fold higher rate for meningococcal disease in Aboriginal children. 

The findings of the trial will inform the policy considerations for vaccination program in Australia and globally.

All Australians, in each state and territory, will benefit from this health and medical research investment:

  • $120 million in research funding for 78 Grants in New South Wales will contribute to support research in a number of health priority areas, including improving medication safety in hospitals.  This includes $2.5 million to the Macquarie University to research the use of information technology to advance medication safety by reducing medication errors in hospitals
  • $203 million in research funding for 132 grants in Victoria to support research in a number of health priority areas, including new treatments and trials for lung cancer. This includes $2.6 million for the University of Melbourne for clinical trials and laboratory based translational research to deliver precision medicine and improve outcomes for patients with lung cancer
  • $59 million in research funding for 46 grants in Queensland to support research in a number of health priority areas, including genomics. This includes $1.5 million for the University of Queensland to understand the relationship between our DNA and changes in our health and well-being
  • $25 million in research funding for 17 grants in Western Australia to support research in a number of health priority areas, including mental health. This includes $236,437 for the University of Western Australia to design a suite of tools, resources and guidelines to support principals, school counsellors and teachers to respond to their students’ social and emotional well-being and mental health needs
  • $19 million in research funding for 16 grants in South Australia to support research in a number of health priority areas, including maternal and child health. This includes $2 million to the University of Adelaide to transform antenatal care by delivering early pregnancy screening tools to identify the factors that lead to life-threatening complications in pregnancy
  • $4 million in research funding for four grants in Tasmania to support research in a number of health priority areas, including cardiovascular disease. This includes $1 million for the University of Tasmania to measure cardiovascular disease risk and to improve awareness, understanding, diagnosis and treatment of heart conditions.
  • $5 million in research funding for five grants in the Australian Capital Territory to support research in a number of health priority areas, including suicide prevention. This includes $1.2 million to the Australian National University of research into the drivers for suicidal behaviour, and the use of positive social connections and timely help-seeking to reduce the rates of suicide in young people
  • $6 million in research funding for three Indigenous health grants in the Northern Territory. This includes $2.5 million for an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence at the Menzies School of Health Research to prevent and manage bronchiectasis, a lung disease which results in recurrent chest infections and is particularly common in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) will also provide $3.7 million to advance the use of genomics in medicine. 

This funding will give researchers the flexibility to undertake ground-breaking research that will lead to significant advances in the health of all Australians.

The funding includes the first grants delivered through the Investigator Grant scheme, part of NHMRC’s new grant program. These grants provide five-year funding certainty for high performing health and medical researchers from across all career stages, as well as support for their research groups.

This first round of Investigator Grants was highly competitive and the quality of applicants was extraordinary, resulting in an outstanding inaugural cohort of 246 Leadership and Emerging Leadership Fellows. 

This vital investment across the broad health spectrum will continue the proud Australian tradition of discovery and translation into better health for all.
 
Medical research is one of the core elements of the Morrison Government’s $104 billion Long Term National Health Plan. 

A full list of grant recipients is available on NHMRC’s website

END

View original media release here

 

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