25 November 2022

The Australian Government is investing $50 million through this year’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Synergy Grants in 10 research projects where experts from different disciplines will collaborate to solve health problems.

Each research team will receive a $5 million grant to fund their research into a major question in human health. Among those selected this year are a project that seeks to address barriers to malaria elimination and two that will improve treatments for devastating childhood cancers.

For other projects funded through this announcement:

  • Professor Ricky O’Brien from RMIT University will lead a team of Australian experts in cardiology, radiation oncology, engineering, data science, physics and medical device development to prototype and build novel medical devices so that patients can be treated safely with high doses of radiation
  • Professor Sharon Naismith from the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney will lead a team developing digital health technologies for assessing, tracking and treating sleep disturbances in the community
  • Associate Professor Coral Gartner from The University of Queensland and team will examine promising new approaches to reducing smoking in Australia using methods from epidemiology and applied statistics, health policy, law, the social sciences and economics.

The Synergy Grant scheme is designed to support substantial research projects where experts from different disciplines collaborate to solve problems in any area of human health, from discovery through to translation.

In addition to the Synergy Grants announced today, the Australian Government will invest in research infrastructure by providing:

  • $23.1 million to contribute to research infrastructure costs for 23 medical research institutes through the Independent Research Institutes Infrastructure Support Scheme (IRIISS)
  • $5.7 million for 44 grants for the procurement of equipment to support the highest quality health and medical research.
Chief investigator Title Administering Institution
Professor Ricky O'Brien Reducing the impact of radiation on the heart for cancer and cardiac disease patients RMIT University
Professor Glenn Marshall Improving outcomes for high-risk child and adolescent cancer: from discovery to individualised treatment within a consumer partnership University of New South Wales
Professor James Beeson Accelerating to zero: targeting roadblocks to achieve malaria elimination Burnet Institute
Professor Sharon Naismith Synergise, Integrate and Enhance Sleep Research to Transform Brain Ageing (SIESTA) University of Sydney
Associate Professor Francis Mitrou Improving Aboriginal health by understanding the influence of early life environments and contacts with health and social service systems over time and across generations University of Western Australia
Professor Maria Kavallaris Advancing the treatment of brain cancer in children University of New South Wales
Associate Professor Tamara Mackean How can health districts and networks cultivate anti-racist hospitals? University of New South Wales
Professor Jose Polo Using complex models of human trophoblast to study placental biology and disease The University of Adelaide
Associate Professor Coral Gartner The Interdisciplinary Tobacco Endgame Research Network (INTER-Net) The University of Queensland
Professor Ian Hickie Rhythms and blues: Personalising care for body clock dysfunction in mood disorders University of Sydney