Latest news and stories

Gender disparities in NHMRC’s Investigator Grant Scheme

CEO Communique – February 2022

  • Communique
  • 3 February 2022

Speech is a uniquely human skill many take for granted

Professor Angela Morgan is head of speech and language at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Professor of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne and was the recipient of the 2020 NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award (Leadership in Clinical Medicine and Science).

  • InFocus
  • 31 January 2022

Changes to Publication Assessment

From 2022, researchers applying for National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) funding through its track record based schemes will be asked to list up to 10 of their top publications in the past 10 years (accounting for career disruptions).

  • Communique
  • 11 January 2022

To improve child health, focus on conception

Professor Sarah Robertson from The University of Adelaide is recipient of an NHMRC Investigator Award and was awarded the Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award (Leadership in Basic Science) at the 2020 NHMRC Research Excellence Awards.

  • InFocus
  • 9 December 2021

How Anne McKenzie went from ‘just a mum from Morley’ to consumer engagement champion

Pioneering health consumer advocate Anne McKenzie AM has been awarded NHMRC’s Consumer Engagement Award in recognition of an almost 30-year career during which she has helped thousands of Australian clinicians and researchers understand the value of listening to consumers.

  • InFocus
  • 26 November 2021

Developing innovative vaccines to tackle influenza B virus

Dr Marios Koutsakos is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne. He works on the development of a universal influenza B vaccine and on understanding the fundamental biology of immune responses to vaccination. Dr Koutsakos received the 2020 NHMRC Frank Fenner Investigator Grant Award. 

  • InFocus
  • 22 November 2021

Developing innovative interventions to eliminate parasitic worm infestations

Professor Don McManus is senior scientist at QIMR Berghofer and an internationally acclaimed parasitologist. This year, he was awarded the 2020 NHMRC Peter Doherty Investigator Grant Award (Leadership).

  • InFocus
  • 8 November 2021

Patient collaborators in groundbreaking brain cancer research

Patients are collaborators along with structural biologists, immunologists and neurosurgeons in the groundbreaking brain cancer research being conducted by the tight, multidisciplinary team being led by WEHI’s Associate Professor Misty Jenkins.

  • InFocus
  • 22 October 2021
three people in lab coats, one looking at a microscope and two looking at a screen

Science to art: Research behind the science behind the image

Professor Frédéric (Fred) Hollande is Deputy Head at the Department of Clinical Pathology, University of Melbourne, and a group leader at the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research. He’s also behind the image recognised in the Science to Art NHMRC Biennial Award.

  • InFocus
  • 13 October 2021

Game-changer for cancer research and therapeutic development

2021 ANSTO Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology

  • InFocus
  • 11 October 2021

Research on a potential biomarker for fatal influenza

Developing an early warning system to predict fatal respiratory viral infection outcomes.

  • InFocus
  • 7 October 2021

Crossing disciplines to answer complex research questions

University of Adelaide's Professor Ian Olver received the 2021 NHMRC Ethics Award in recognition of his significant contribution to Australian health and medical research ethics over the last decade. As chair of NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee, and as a valued member of NHMRC Council from 2012 to 2018, his balanced and considered leadership style and willingness to engage sensitively on tough issues supported a wider understanding of the ethical impact of emerging health and medical research innovations and technologies.

  • InFocus
  • 6 September 2021

New research on boosting killer immune response to cancer

Drugs already approved and available could be the answer to boost the production of killer T cells and improve the success rate of immunotherapies for cancer. 

  • InFocus
  • 23 August 2021

Working beyond our own borders for a better world

Associate Professor Joshua Vogel is a Principal Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne, where he co-heads the Global Women’s and Newborn’s Health Group. His research focuses on addressing maternal and perinatal health issues affecting women and families in limited-resource settings. Associate Professor Vogel was the winner of the 2020 Peter Doherty Investigator Grant Award, and the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.  

  • InFocus
  • 18 August 2021

Australian research delivers rapid Hep B test for earlier treatment

Hepatitis B is an infectious disease that causes the liver to become inflamed and contributes to increasing rates of liver cancer in Australia and globally.

  • InFocus
  • 26 July 2021

Getting to the cause of type 2 diabetes

The daily burden of living with diabetes can be significant. It’s estimated that people with diabetes face up to 180 diabetes-related decisions every day. That’s more than 65,000 extra decisions a year. These decisions can range from managing daily blood sugar levels, food intake and exercise to the management of serious diabetes complications.

  • InFocus
  • 8 July 2021

Driven to improve mental health and intergenerational trauma through research

Having experienced two Indigenous internships with NHMRC, Vernon Armstrong has now started his journey in mental health research.

  • InFocus
  • 2 July 2021
Image of optically barcoded colorectal cancer cells by Prof Fred Hollande

Research Excellence Awards and Biennial Awards

The 2020 NHMRC Research Excellence Awards and 2021 NHMRC Biennial Awards were announced on 16 June 2021. Below is an extract of CEO Professor Anne Kelso's opening remarks before announcing the awards.

  • Communique
  • 25 June 2021

Diamond-enriched silk dressings the answer to next-generation smart wound treatment

A diamond-enriched smart dressing made of silk that enables doctors to read the chemistry of an infected or healing wound could be the answer to more effective therapies, particularly for burns.

  • InFocus
  • 17 June 2021

Addressing Australia’s national transfusion research priorities

Professor Erica Wood is head of the Transfusion Unit at Monash University. Her research describes how blood is used in Australia, and how its use can be improved and made safer and more cost-effective. Through registry data and clinical trials, and studies of novel blood products, Professor Wood and her team aim to improve access and transfusion outcomes for patients.

  • InFocus
  • 15 June 2021

Indigenous female researcher inspires next generation

As one of NHMRC’s first Indigenous Interns, Nada Powell is about to embark on her next journey which is likely to now include research.

  • InFocus
  • 27 May 2021
Professor John Bekkers

Unlocking the secrets of the brain

Professor John Bekkers from the John Curtin School of Medical Research and his team are currently working on the neurons and circuits in the brain that underlie the sense of smell. His team focus on the olfactory cortex, a brain region that is responsible for our ability to recognise and remember odours. 

  • Video
  • 24 May 2021
Professor Katherine Conigrave

Partnership with Aboriginal communities for a meaningful contribution

Professor Kate Conigrave from The University of Sydney is an Addiction Medicine Specialist and Public Health Physician based at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Her work combines treating individuals with alcohol, drug and tobacco problems, promoting the health of communities and research and teaching. She is currently the chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Alcohol Working Group, which is charged with reviewing the guidelines to reduce the health risks from drinking alcohol.

  • Video
  • 17 May 2021

Budget 2021-22

Support for excellent health and medical research in Australia continues in the 2021-22 Budget handed down on 11 May 2021. 

  • Communique
  • 12 May 2021

Breathing easy – Improving access to respiratory disease rehabilitation

The average adult takes up to 20 breaths every minute, something most people give little thought. However, breathing can be a daily struggle for  people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), an umbrella term for a group of lung conditions that includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma. 

  • 4 May 2021

Australia’s investment in eradicating malaria

Over the last 10 years NHMRC has invested more than $191 million in research on malaria1

  • News
  • 23 April 2021

Ensuring evidence is translated into practice

Professor Rachelle Buchbinder is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Principal Research Fellow. She is the Director and Professor in the Monash University Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine since 2007. Professor Rachelle Buchbinder's clinical practice is in conjunction with research involving multidisciplinary projects relating to arthritis and musculoskeletal condition.

  • Video
  • 15 April 2021

Working to stop Parkinson's disease

Associate Professor Antony Cooper from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research is a cell and molecular biologist / geneticist with strong interests in elucidating how cellular dysfunction results in human diseases, with a specific interest in neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s Disease. His research on neurodegenerative diseases focuses on understanding the basis of Parkinson’s Disease. Watch his story in the video below.

  • Video
  • 9 April 2021

Transforming how to treat blood cancers

Professor Mark Dawson is a clinician-scientist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, meaning he both treats blood cancer patients and leads cutting-edge cancer research in the lab. After working as a doctor for some time, Professor Dawson wanted to know why some patients responded better to treatment than others.

  • Video
  • 25 March 2021
Abstract background

Peer review for Ideas Grants in 2021

CEO Communique, February 2021

  • Communique
  • 25 February 2021

Adding new cells to the mature central nervous system – Investigating their normal function and potential for repair

For people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the myelin that covers nerve fibres in the central nervous system (brain, optic nerves and spinal cord) is damaged, leading to impairment of cognitive, motor and sometimes sensory functions.

  • InFocus
  • 16 February 2021
abstract purple

COVID-3D: A small leap to scale up to COVID-19

Early in 2020, the University of Melbourne’s Bio21 team was working on protein modelling to better understand antimicrobial resistance for improved drug development. In March they turned their attention to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which had already undergone many mutations. In September, the team’s work was published in Nature Genetics

  • InFocus
  • 3 February 2021

Improving the health and wellbeing of children by making it easy to be active throughout the day

Professor Jo Salmon from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University received the Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award at last year’s NHMRC Research Excellence Awards. Her research focuses on how to effectively implement physical activity interventions at scale across the population, particularly in children. Physical inactivity is a leading modifiable risk factor for childhood obesity and other physical and mental health conditions.

  • InFocus
  • 28 January 2021
Scan of a brain

Case study: Neurodegenerative disease and metals

The formation of abnormal proteins in the brain has long been suspected to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Yet many individuals with abnormal protein formations do not go on to develop such diseases.

  • InFocus
  • 13 November 2020

Using antimicrobials to prevent infections in our hospitals

Professor Mark Willcox from the University of New South Wales received the Marshall and Warren Ideas Grant Award at this year’s NHMRC Research Excellence Awards. Professor Willcox’s research targets hospital-acquired infections. Half of all hospital-acquired infections are from microbial colonisation of medical devices such as catheters and hip replacements. Professor Willcox and his team are developing new antimicrobial coatings that can be applied to medical devices to reduce the incidence of these infections. 

  • InFocus
  • 4 November 2020

Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies

APPRISE is the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies. It was established in 2016 with an investment of $5 million funded by NHMRC and an additional $2 million in 2020 to undertake a range of studies to inform the public health and clinical responses to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • InFocus
  • 27 October 2020

Twenty years of preparation

Over the past 20 years, NHMRC has invested more than $23 million in 37 projects on pandemic preparedness.

  • InFocus
  • 27 October 2020

Linking high quality international research for improvements in Indigenous health

Professor Sandra Eades from Curtin University has dedicated her career to research in Aboriginal health improvements. Professor Eades works with National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to advise and develop strategic guidelines focused on closing the gap.

  • Video
  • 15 October 2020

Repairing the nervous system with patients’ own stem cells

Associate Professor James St John from Griffith University received the Marshall and Warren Innovation Award at the 2020 NHMRC Research Excellence Awards. His research involves the development of cell transplantation therapies to repair the nervous system, particularly peripheral nerve and spinal cord injuries.

  • InFocus
  • 28 September 2020
Abstract colours

NHMRC Dementia Research News

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) remains committed to supporting dementia research in Australia following the end of the Australian Government's Boosting Dementia Research Initiative (BDRI).

  • News
  • 18 September 2020

Improving kidney health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Associate Professor Jaqui Hughes from the Menzies School of Health Research received the 2019 NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Award at NHMRC’s Research Excellence Awards ceremony in March 2020. Kidney disease is a significant health priority among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The cohort study being led by A/Professor Hughes will describe the long-term changes in kidney function over 10 years. This will provide critical data to inform regional and national policy on identification and care of people with kidney disease.

  • InFocus
  • 18 September 2020

Unravelling the pathobiology of non-Alzheimer dementias and degenerative motor syndromes

Professor Glenda Halliday from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Brain and Mind Centre received NHMRC’s Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award at this year’s NHMRC Research Excellence Awards. Her research aims to identify and understand the pathobiology of non-Alzheimer dementias and degenerative motor syndromes. These syndromes are currently under-recognised, mainly affect people in their prime, can kill rapidly, and have no mechanistic therapies. 

  • InFocus
  • 26 August 2020

Changes to NHMRC’s Grant Schedule and Policies in Response to COVID-19

NHMRC has changed the timing of the 2021 Investigator Grant and Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies schemes. NHMRC has also changed its Relative to Opportunity policy to accommodate the impacts of COVID-19 on research.

  • Communique
  • 4 August 2020

Using big data to improve people's health

Professor Louisa Jorm is the Foundation Director of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at UNSW Sydney.

  • Video
  • 3 August 2020
Professor Carola Vinuesa

Blue sky impacts for human health

Professor Carola Vinuesa is a Professor of Immunology at the Australian National University and Head of the Pathogens and Immunity Department. She discusses Cellular Immunology and how blue sky research impacts human health. 

  • Video
  • 30 July 2020

Vaccine development and prevention strategies for Hepatitis C

NHMRC caught up with Professor Andrew Lloyd from The University of New South Wales who develops vaccines for Hepatitis C, which effects 750,000 Australians. Find out how his research is not only helping treat Hepatitis C but working on prevention strategies.

  • Video
  • 10 July 2020

Aboriginal mental health research and the importance of resilience

Developing better understanding of effective therapeutic practices with Aboriginal clients, in Aboriginal community settings, and with Aboriginal practitioners, across the spectrum of mental health and social and emotional wellbeing outcomes is the goal of Dr Graham Gee.

  • InFocus
  • 10 July 2020

Peoples lives transformed through bionics

Professor David Grayden is in the department of biomedical engineering at the University of Melbourne. He has undertaken successful innovation and a commercialisation journey, providing practical insights into how he navigates through this research pathway.

  • Video
  • 7 July 2020
Professor Si Ming Man

Fellowship contributing to Australian health

Prof Si Ming Man from The Australian National University and his team investigates the role of innate immunity in infectious diseases and cancer. Professor Man received the NHMRC Research Excellence Award for the highest-ranked Early Career Fellowship (2015) and an NHMRC Research Excellence Award for the highest-ranked Career Development Fellowship Biomedical Level l1 (2019). He also received the 2019 Commonwealth Health Minister's Medal for Excellence in Health and Medical Research and the 2021 CSL Centenary Fellowship.

  • Video
  • 2 July 2020

Boosting study in auto immune disease

Professor Joanne Reed from the Garvan Institute's research focuses on autoimmune diseases, particularly the origin and role of autoantibodies."It's really promising research and NHMRC has been able to fund this. This is something that's capable of having a big impact". Watch her story in the video below.

  • Video
  • 1 July 2020