Latest news and stories

$21.9 million funds research partnerships that meet real-world health needs

NHMRC welcomes today’s announcement by the Australian Government of more than $5.6 million to fund the latest round of Partnership Projects.

  • Media release
  • 22 February 2022

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

NHMRC statement on iBlastoids

Nature paper: Modelling human blastocysts by reprogramming fibroblasts into iBlastoids

  • Media release
  • 20 December 2021

New Principal Committees to advise NHMRC Council

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) welcomes today’s announcement by the Minister for Health Greg Hunt of the membership of the Principal Committees of NHMRC for 2021–2024. 

  • Media release
  • 16 December 2021

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

Gain of Function Research Review

Terms of Reference

  • News
  • 21 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

NHMRC 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

Mapping the trajectory of depression in primary care to improve treatment

The Diamond cohort study – Better management of those at risk of persistent and disabling depression.

  • Ten of the Best
  • 20 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 NHMRC's 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. 

  • Ten of the Best
  • 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 an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow. She is the Director and Professor in the Monash University Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine since 2007.

  • Video
  • 15 April 2021

Music therapy to support people living with dementia

Dr Jeanette Tamplin from The University of Melbourne is using therapeutic singing groups to support people living with dementia. 

  • Video
  • 11 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.

  • Video
  • 9 April 2021

Tracker - 6 April 2021

Welcome to Tracker, NHMRC’s fortnightly newsletter with the latest information on major activities and funding opportunities.

  • 6 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.

  • Video
  • 25 March 2021

Addressing the neglected global burden of child and drug-resistant tuberculosis

Ever since completing his PhD whilst working as a young paediatrician in South Africa, Professor Ben Marais from the University of Sydney has been on a mission to raise awareness of childhood tuberculosis (TB) and the transmissibility of drug-resistant TB – having seen first-hand the deadly impacts when this disease is left undiagnosed and untreated.

  • Ten of the Best
  • 24 March 2021

Measuring the effectiveness of cancer interventions

Economic evaluation is a tool used to decide which medical services and pharmaceuticals should be publicly funded. Professor Madeleine King, Director of the University of Sydney's Quality of Life Office, has developed ways to measure quality of life for use in economic evaluation of cancer interventions in Australia and across the world.

  • Ten of the Best
  • 2 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.

  • Ten of the Best
  • 16 February 2021

How our immune cells kill cancer

With her team, she discovered that, when target cells do not die quickly, it can cause inflammation, which hampers the body’s immune response.

  • Ten of the Best
  • 4 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

  • 3 February 2021

Using digital innovations to address depression and binge drinking in young Australians

Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin is a psychologist and leads an international team at the Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health at the University of Newcastle. Her research focuses on the development and translation of evidence-based treatments for comorbid mental disorders for young Australians.

  • Ten of the Best
  • 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

Building Indigenous research capacity in Australia

For nearly three decades, Professor Jacinta Elston has worked in higher education, furthering efforts to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in Australia. Professor Elston is an Aboriginal woman from North Queensland and the inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) at Monash University.

  • Ten of the Best
  • 19 January 2021

'10 of the Best': Showcasing health and medical research success stories

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has launched the 12th edition of 10 of the Best, showcasing significant projects that support the improvement of human health.

  • Media release
  • 12 January 2021

CEO Communique – 15 December 2020

Key points

  • $260 million investment in 283 Ideas Grants was announced today.
  • $20 million of extra funding has been provided to assist the sector’s recovery from disruption of research by COVID-19.
  • Streamlined peer review enabled the Ideas Grants round to be completed despite COVID-19.
  • Outcomes were released before the end of the year thanks to exceptional support from peer reviewers across the sector.
  • Communique
  • 15 December 2020

Targeting dangerous heart attack and stroke-causing plaques

Heart attack and stroke are major causes of death and disability worldwide. With over 500,000 Australians suffering from some form of coronary artery disease.

  • Ten of the Best
  • 1 December 2020

A smart needle for safer brain surgery

Almost 2000 Australians are diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour each year and, tragically, it is the leading cause of cancer-related death among children. Professor Robert McLaughlin's team at the University of Adelaide, with colleagues at The University of Western Australia, set out to better diagnose the specific type of tumours, which can benefit patients' treatment options and outcomes.

  • Ten of the Best
  • 1 December 2020
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