11 January 2022

Sixty-five outstanding health and medical graduates will be supported to begin their research careers through National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Postgraduate Scholarships.

NHMRC welcomes today’s announcement by the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, of $7.24 million to support training in health and medical research that is internationally competitive and develops capacity for original independent research within Australia.

“These grants will create opportunities for many graduates in medicine and health sciences to pursue their ideas and tackle the health challenges facing our community,” NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said. 

“Many of Australia’s foremost health and medical researchers had their research careers kick-started by an NHMRC postgraduate scholarship.”

Among the 65 recipients are:

  • Dr Huong Nguyen at the University of Melbourne will investigate dementia among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, looking at risk factors and blood markers to improve diagnosis, management and support for affected patients and families.
  • Dr Thomas Lew at WEHI who will analyse blood cancer cells to identify and target the resistant populations that cause relapse. 
  • Ms Melissa Savaglio at Monash University will develop a trauma-informed, community-based mental health program that has been designed by youth, for youth, to meet their unique psychosocial needs. 
  • Dr Bernadette Ricciardo at the University of Western Australia will work with Aboriginal Elders on a co-designed project to determine how common skin diseases are in young Aboriginal people living in urban areas, to improve prevention and treatment of skin infections.
  • Mr Alexander Terrill at the Queensland University of Technology will explore how 3D scanning, computer aided design and 3D printing can be used to make more affordable, accessible and personalised treatment for people with diabetes to avoid pressure wounds on their feet.

In addition, today’s announcement includes Independent Research Institutes Infrastructure Support Scheme (IRIISS) and Equipment Grants:

  • More than $25.7 million is being provided in grants to 21 independent medical research institutes to contribute to infrastructure costs associated with competitively awarded NHMRC research grants.
  • $5.7 million will support 45 Equipment Grants to help procure equipment designed to support the highest quality health and medical research.

Scholarship recipients are:

Chief Investigator Title Administering Institution
Dr Luke McLean Understanding response and resistance to immunotherapy in immunocompromised patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas University of Melbourne
Dr Yew Li Dang Using twin studies to investigate epilepsy aetiology and antiepileptic drug-induced birth defects University of Melbourne
Dr Lucy McGrath-Cadell Understanding the genetics and mechanisms of spontaneous coronary artery dissection University of New South Wales
Dr Ralley Prentice The Pregnancy in Crohn's and Colitis - Observations, Levels and Outcomes Extension (PICCOLO - X) study Monash University
Dr Julia Lai-Kwon Harnessing the power of Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs): demonstrating novel applications of PROs in the care of oncology patients University of Melbourne
Dr Michael Zhu Long-term outcomes of surgery for diseases of the aortic valve in children Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Dr Jayson Jeganathan Negative Symptoms of Psychosis The University of Newcastle
Dr Ouli Xie Evolution of Streptococcal pathovars University of Melbourne
Dr Adrian Lee Towards the understanding of the immunopathogenesis of autoantibody-mediated systemic diseases: new approaches to old problems The Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Dr Jessica Fairley Meeting an unmet need in systemic sclerosis: defining the burden of arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death University of Melbourne
Dr Michael Lim Randomised evaluation of the impact of catheter ablation versus medical therapy on psychological distress and neurocognitive function in atrial fibrillation Melbourne Health
Ms Tara Guckel Advancing the prevention and early intervention for co-occurring anxiety and alcohol use disorders University of Sydney
Dr Adithya Balasubramanian Targeting immune resistance mechanisms to enhance anti-tumour immunity in non-small cell lung cancer The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Dr Larissa Trease Risk factors for and burden of low back pain in elite athletes. La Trobe University
Dr Lachlan Batty Young people with old knees: The role of matrix metalloproteinase 3 and type 2 collagen C-telopeptide fragments in predicting post traumatic osteoarthritis after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction La Trobe University
Dr Yi Chao Foong Validation and implementation of smartphone-based digital biomarkers in multiple sclerosis to define subclinical progression and treatment failure: the ACTIVE MS study Monash University
Miss Sophia Garlick Bock Comorbid mental health and drug and alcohol use among sexuality and gender diverse young people in Australia University of Sydney
Dr Sonali Shah Hypertension with low renin - new insights into prevalence, pathophysiology and management Monash University
Ms Desiree LaGrappe Maternal and child health nursing: A golden opportunity to integrate screening for reproductive coercion and increase effective contraception use? La Trobe University
Ms Olivia Price Preventing infectious disease and reducing associated harms among people who inject drugs University of New South Wales
Ms Isabelle Meulenbroeks The impact of COVID-19 and associated health policies on access to allied healthcare, care quality, and health outcomes in Australian residential aged care facilities Macquarie University
Ms Katie Lee Genomic architecture of skin in the vicinity of previous melanoma in photodamaged and non-photodamaged areas The University of Queensland
Dr Gemma Reynolds High-risk lymphoproliferative malignancies in the era of novel therapies: infection risk, surveillance and prophylaxis University of Melbourne
Dr Elizabeth Armari Developing and evaluating an evidence-based training program for improving labour and childbirth care in India Burnet Institute
Shania Liu# Responsible pre-operative Opioid use for Hip and knee ArthropLasTy (OpioidHALT) study University of Sydney
Dr Anthony Hew Revolutionising system reform in mental health: addressing gaps in the system through big data and data linkage Monash University
Dr Noa Amir Identifying and addressing the needs and priorities of patients with genetic kidney disease and their families University of Sydney
Dr Aaron Kee Yee Wong Personalising pain relief for people with cancer: The right opioid for the right person at the right time University of Melbourne
Dr Laura Eades Biomarker profiles in Indigenous Australians with systemic lupus erythematosus Monash University
Dr Edmund Chung Treatments to expand regulatory T cells and/or deplete autoantibody production in primary membranous nephropathy University of Sydney
Dr Hiu Tat Chan Towards vaginal microbiota stability: new treatment paradigm for bacterial vaginosis La Trobe University
Mr Dominic Delport Using mathematical models to generate evidence to support Australia’s COVID-19 responses and prepare for future pandemics Burnet Institute
Mr Karan Shah Economic evaluation of strategies to increase kidney donation and transplantation University of Sydney
Dr Yasmin Hughes Improving syphilis diagnosis and management in the community Monash University
Dr Madeleine Gill Understanding cirrhotic cardiomyopathy Centenary Institute
Dr Garry Hamilton Radial artery conduits in coronary artery bypass surgery: the impact of prior instrumentation with a focus on the vascular biology and clinical outcomes. University of Melbourne
Dr Prianka Puri An integration of multi-omics and machine learning to stratify patients with lupus nephritis for precision medicine The University of Queensland
Dr Sean Tan Cardiovascular screening in cancer patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors Monash University
Dr Alexandra Stewart The role of cytochrome polymorphisms in primaquine metabolism and effects on its activity in radical cure of Plasmodium vivax infection University of Melbourne
Dr Tanya Ross Informing future recommendations for prevention and treatment of ovarian cancer using population data The University of Queensland
Mr Samuel Tu Cardiometabolic, genetic and lifestyle risk factors for arrhythmias The University of Adelaide
Ms Isobel Todd Perinatal and early childhood risk and protective factors for paediatric infection Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Ms Melissa Savaglio Developing a community-based psychosocial intervention for young people with mental illness Monash University
Mrs Lorelle Holland Decolonising approaches for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with complex health needs exposed to the youth justice system in Australia: reducing incarceration and recidivism rates The University of Queensland
Ms Amelia Hyatt Determining health system and public policy elements for successful implementation and sustainability of cervical cancer elimination strategies at a country and regional level University of Melbourne
Dr Deonna Ackermann Optimising trial processes and generating translational gains: Studies Within A Trial (SWATs) for the MELSELF randomised controlled trial of patient-led melanoma surveillance University of Sydney
Mr Alexander Terrill Application of advanced manufacturing technologies to offload diabetes-related foot ulceration Queensland University of Technology
Stephanie Bond# Development and evaluation of strategies to improve syphilis screening of pregnant women to prevent congenital syphilis Monash University
Ms Erin Madden Improving evidence-based practice for comorbid alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions: the role of implementation science and quality improvement toolkits University of Sydney
Anna Le Fevre# Investigating epigenetic regulators of disease and novel epigenetic treatment approaches for imprinting disorders The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Dr Bernadette Ricciardo Koolungar Urban Moorditj healthy skin: Determining the burden of skin disease in urban Aboriginal children and adolescents. University of Western Australia
Dr Victoria Hall Defining host immune response and prevention strategies for viral respiratory tract infections in patients with haematological malignancy University of Melbourne
Dr Thomas Lew Enhancing venetoclax and other pro-apoptotic agents to improve outcomes for patients with haematological malignancies The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Dr Yin Yuan Dissecting the challenge of AML The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Ashwin Bhaskaran# Ventricular arrhythmia mechanisms and therapies University of Sydney
Dr Sarah Holper Untangling Neuroinflammation's Role in Alzheimer's Disease Development (UNRAVEL) The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Dr Yara-Natalie Abo A randomised controlled human challenge trial to evaluate Strep A vaccine efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Ms Chandana Guha Improving care and outcomes for vulnerable patients with chronic kidney disease – the young and the elderly University of Sydney
Dr Kasun De Silva Novel technologies and strategies to identify arrhythmogenic substrate and triggers for sudden cardiac death University of Sydney
Alice Powell# Exceptional cognition in old age and interactions with other aspects of successful ageing University of New South Wales
Miss Nicola Creagh Evaluating the use of an open access self-collection cervical screening pathway: the solution to declining participation and to long standing inequities? University of Melbourne
Dr Huong Nguyen A Cognitive Ageing Risk Evaluation (CARE) tool to support clinical diagnosis of dementia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples University of Melbourne
Dr Oliver Cronin The science of cold snare polypectomy University of Sydney
Ms Thi Tran How does methamphetamine use, mental health and treatment interventions affect one another? University of New South Wales
Dr Robert Little Modulation of the gut microbiome and mucosal immune response in IBD Monash University

# Applicant did not provide title in their application.

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