24 May 2022

More than $75.3 million to support 33 clinical trials and cohort studies through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has been announced, close to a quarter funding studies to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Dr Natalie Strobel, Kurongkurl Katitjin Senior Research Fellow, and Associate Professor Dan McAullay, Director of Aboriginal Research, from Edith Cowan University received a NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies grant for their project titled ‘A primary care provider intervention to improve early child neurodevelopment in Urban Aboriginal children.’ (Credit: Edith Cowan University).

In clinical trials and cohort studies, researchers work with participants to establish the evidence base required for better health treatments, policies, practices and outcomes.

This round of NHMRC’s Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Scheme is notable for the success of grants that will benefit health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Close to $23.5 million will fund studies to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, representing more than 24 per cent of the 33 studies funded.

Funding includes:

  • More than $2.9 million to support a trial of primary care intervention in the first four weeks of life to improve developmental needs of urban Aboriginal children in their first year. The trial, led by Associate Professor Daniel McAullay at Edith Cowan University, will address Aboriginal children’s development by improving primary health care’s ability to deliver child development services. 
  • More than $3 million to continue a large Indigenous adult cohort study to track oral Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection, monitor early throat cancer and estimate cost-effectiveness of extensive HPV vaccination coverage in culturally safe ways. The cohort study is led by Ms Joanne Hedges at the University of Adelaide and provides critical information to underpin management recommendations for Indigenous Australian health and wellbeing.
  • More than $2.6 million to support ‘The Next Generation Aboriginal Youth Cohort Study’ led by Professor Sandra Eades at the University of Melbourne. In partnership with young people, their families and Aboriginal community organisations, the study will examine changes in key health outcomes and factors that affect connection to culture, health behaviour and social challenges.
  • More than $3.7 million to support a cohort study of First Nations People from birth to 6 years to improve lung health outcomes. First Nations children have unacceptably high rates of lung disease which means poorer adult health. The study, led by Dr Danielle Wurzel at the University of Melbourne, will look at a range of these exposures and events and study them in detail to discover ways to help improve the lung health of First Nations children.
  • More than $2.5 million to support a trial to test whether giving Aboriginal children aged 6-11 months an extra (booster) dose of rotavirus vaccine will give them better protection from rotavirus. This virus can cause severe diarrhoea in children, leading to hospitalisation. Aboriginal children in remote and rural parts of Australia are up to 20 times more likely to need hospitalisation with rotavirus than non-Indigenous children. The trial is led by Professor Thomas Snelling at the University of Sydney. 

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO said the health and medical research sector greatly appreciated the contributions of all participants who take part in clinical trials and cohort studies.

'Clinical trials and cohort studies obviously depend on participants. Together with researchers, they make an enormous contribution to our understanding of the factors that determine our health and the development of new interventions and therapies,' she said.

'NHMRC is also committed to building research capacity and improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. So, the success of grants for research addressing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, including studies led by and involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers, is particularly important.'

Chief InvestigatorTitleAdministering InstitutionBudget $
Ms Joanne HedgesThe Indigenous Australian HPV Cohort Study 2; continuation 5 to 10 years.The University of Adelaide$3,107,613.50
Associate Professor Ruth PetersINTErGenerational intervention to Reduce fraIlTY trial (INTEGRITY).University of New South Wales$3,711,897.80
Associate Professor Lexine StapinskiMaking Inroads: RCT of a web-based early intervention to interrupt the vicious cycle of co-occurring anxiety and hazardous alcohol use among young adults.University of Sydney$1,295,748.84
Associate Professor Trisha PeelDuration of Cardiac Antimicrobial Prophylaxis Outcomes Study (CALIPSO): multicentre, adaptive, double-blind, three-arm, placebo-controlled, non-inferiority trial examining antimicrobial prophylaxis duration in cardiac surgery.Monash University$4,343,709.10
Associate Professor Joanne SaidPRECeDe: Prevention of neonatal Respiratory morbidity with antenatal corticosteroids prior to Elective Caesarean section in women with Diabetes: A Randomised trialUniversity of Melbourne  $3,409,951.00
Professor Assam El-OstaEpigenetic Protection Predicts Risk Diabetic Nephropathy (EPICENTRE)Monash University$4,897,328.00
Professor Patrick KwanPersonalised Selection of Medication for Newly Diagnosed Adult Epilepsy – the PERSONAL TrialMonash University$2,459,115.80
Associate Professor Daniel McAullayA primary care provider intervention to improve early child neurodevelopment in Urban Aboriginal childrenEdith Cowan University$2,992,864.40
Professor Philip BatterhamThe LifeTrack Project: Population-based longitudinal cohort study to understand suicidal transitionsAustralian National University$1,062,723.20
Professor Gregory FoxThe FLIRT-TB study: A fluoroquinolone-based regimen to treat the commonest form of drug-resistant tuberculosisUniversity of Sydney$4,773,516.00
Professor Rachael MoorinAre calcium channel blockers associated with breast cancer? Assessing the impact of long-term use in large longitudinal cohortsCurtin University$1,107,757.00
Professor Megan GalballyPerinatal depression and antidepressants treatment: wave 7 follow up of the MPEWS longitudinal cohort studyThe University of Notre Dame Australia$1,585,413.80
Associate Professor Asha BowenSNAP-PY: Staphylococcus aureus Network Adaptive Platform trial for Paediatrics and Youth  University of Western Australia$2,045,957.40
Dr Danielle WurzelTranslatable Evidence To Improve Lung Health Outcomes In First Nations People – A Cohort Study From Birth to 6 YearsUniversity of Melbourne$3,723,567.80
Dr Lucia RomaniCan mass drug administration reduce the incidence of adverse perinatal outcomes and other health consequences of endemic sexually transmitted infections? A community effectiveness trial  University of New South Wales$2,148,887.90
Professor Linda MileshkinICON9: A phase 3 randomised trial of cediranib and olaparib maintenance in patients with relapsed platinum sensitive ovarian cancerUniversity of Sydney$494,131.60
Associate Professor Kristen GibbonsResuscitation in Paediatric Septic Shock using Mega-Dose Vitamin C and Hydrocortisone - A Randomised Controlled Multicentre Trial (RESPOND study)The University of Queensland$1,305,172.60
Professor Henry BrodatyUnderstanding intergenerational change in the health and well-being of older adults and its effects: The Sydney Memory and Ageing Study 2.University of New South Wales$3,304,760.16
Associate Professor Victoria ManningAAT-APP Trial: A RCT of alcohol approach-avoidance training to reduce heavy drinking in people with alcohol use disordersMonash University$948,498.04
Dr Ary Serpa NetoSODA-BIC: Sodium Bicarbonate For Decompensated Metabolic Acidosis in the Intensive Care Unit, A Multicentre, Randomised, Double-Blind Clinical Trial  Monash University  $1,920,486.60
Professor Nicholas LintzerisA randomised controlled trial of cannabidiol (CBD) in the treatment of cannabis dependenceUniversity of Sydney$2,120,137.80
Professor Mark ParsonsMagnetic Resonance imaging outcomes in the Colchicine After Stroke to Prevent Event Recurrence (MR-CASPER) trialUniversity of New South Wales$1,535,098.80
Professor Simon CraigChildhood febrile convulsions - do treatment patterns determine the risk of early recurrence?Monash University$3,490,416.30
Professor Bruce CampbellAccelerating clot lysis in ischemic stroke with dornase alfa in an Umbrella Bayesian Optimised Phase 2 trialUniversity of Melbourne  $1,453,336.70
Associate Professor Neil ThomasAvatar-mediated therapy for hallucinations: superiority trial (AMETHYST)Swinburne University of Technology  $1,746,774.20
Dr Calum RobertsA Surfactant Treatment Method for Modern Neonatal Care: SURFactant by SUPraglottic Airway (The SURFSUP RCT)Monash University$1,707,835.00
Dr Ryan CourtneyEffect Of a Vaporised Nicotine Product vs Varenicline on Smoking Cessation for Low-Socioeconomic Status Smokers: A Randomised TrialUniversity of New South Wales$2,659,251.03
Professor Thomas SnellingORVAC Stage 2 - Optimising Rotavirus Vaccine in Aboriginal Children: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, adaptive clinical trial of a third scheduled dose of oral rotavirus vaccine for Australian Aboriginal children.University of Sydney  $2,561,907.70
Dr Adrian TraegerNUDG-ED: Trial of behavioural ‘nudging’ interventions to reduce unnecessary care for low back pain in the Emergency DepartmentUniversity of Sydney$1,119,327.80
Professor Stuart KinnerImproving health outcomes in people with a dual diagnosis released from prison: a multi-jurisdictional, prospective cohort studyMurdoch Children’s Research Institute  $1,466,784.00
Professor Gita MishraMaternal and early life origins of adolescent menstrual disorders and pelvic painThe University of Queensland$1,475,456.00
Professor Sandra Eades‘The Next Generation Aboriginal Youth Cohort Study’: Co-designing a strengths-based study to identify evidence-based, culturally strong, implementable strategies to improve youth health outcomesUniversity of Melbourne$2,619,818.80
Associate Professor Adrian LoweTesting an implementable strategy to improve infant skin barrier to prevent asthma and preserve lung function: a 4-year follow-up of the existing PEBBLES RCTUniversity of Melbourne$756,239.42
Total  $75,351,484.09