Grants funded under the Centres of Clinical Research Excellence (CCRE) scheme

Please note the information on this page has been provided for historical reference purposes only.

The Centres of Clinical Research Excellence (CCRE) Scheme provides funding for innovative, high quality clinical research to be conducted either by established investigators with a strong track record in clinical research and clinical training, or new clinical research collaborators.

The Centres of Clinical Research Excellence (CCRE) Scheme aims to:

  • support clinical research with potential to lead to improved health outcomes for the community;
  • foster training of clinical researchers, particularly those with a capacity for independent research and future leadership roles; and
  • ensure effective translation of research outcomes into clinical practice.

Researchers were encouraged to collaborate with, and participate in, international research studies. The collaborations may include:

  • synergistic approaches between basic biomedical sciences and clinical research and/or between clinical research and population health research or health services research;
  • collaborative interactions between different clinical disciplines;
  • community consultation with relevant groups; and
  • processes for consultation and management of health issues relating to Indigenous Australians.

Funding was awarded for a period of five years.

Replacement by the The Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) Scheme

From 2010 the CCRE Scheme will be superseded by the Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) Scheme.

Successful applications for CCRE funding 2009

CCRE Lead Institution Description
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Interdisciplinary Sleep Health Professor Ronald Grunstein University of Sydney Sleep loss and disordered sleep is now recognised as contributing to mortality, chronic disease and economic health burden. The Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Interdisciplinary Sleep Health (CRISH) aims to investigate the biology of sleep, and to prevent and to treat disorders of sleep through a uniquely interdisciplinary approach. The centre will support world-class interventional research aimed to inform clinical practice and alter health policy. The next generation of sleep researchers will be fostered through national and international collaborations.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Aboriginal Health: Sexually transmitted and bloodborne viral infections Professor John Kaldor University of New South Wales This new Centre for Clinical Research Excellence will bring together the leading Australian institution dedicated to clinical research on sexually transmitted and blood borne viral infections, and the peak organisation for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services. Working with nominated Aboriginal community controlled health services, the Centre will conduct innovative research that will identify new approaches to diagnosing and managing these infections while at the same time developing improved clinical guidelines and research capacity within the sector.
Translational Clinical Research in Major Eye Diseases (TCE-Eye) Professor Tien Wong Centre for Eye Research Australia The four eye diseases that cause the majority of vision loss in Australia, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, cataract and glaucoma, impose a significant socio-economic burden, costing our nation ~$10 billion a year. This Centre for Clinical Research Excellence will fund a world leading, broad-based, clinical and translational research program in Melbourne and Sydney to tackle these eye diseases. The new knowledge and innovative clinical strategies developed in this Centre for Clinical Research Excellence will impact on clinical ophthalmology and the practice of other medical disciplines.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Newborn Medicine Professor Lex Doyle Murdoch Children’s Research Institute The Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Newborn Medicine will study adverse outcomes for the brains and lungs of newborn babies; it will establish how often these occur in different types of babies (ranging from very premature babies, through to those born on time), investigate the different causes, develop treatments to either prevent or treat the adverse outcomes, determine the long-term consequences into adulthood, and continually re-evaluate the effectiveness of the various treatment strategies designed to improve the health outcomes for newborn babies.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Aphasia Rehabilitation Professor Linda Worrall University of Queensland This national research centre uniquely combines two recent advances in rehabilitation, applies them to rehabilitation of acquired communication disorder (aphasia) and translates them into a clear pathway for clinical management of people with aphasia. This “cell to society” research program integrates a consumer’s perspective into research in the relearning of lost skills after injury. The resulting Australian Aphasia Clinical Pathway will enable and ensure best practice in aphasia services.
Centre for Oral Health Professor Peter Bartold University of Adelaide The Centre for Clinical Research Excellence for Oral Health will focus on the prevention and treatment of oral diseases and disorders and their clinical consequences. Research will emphasise three areas of clinical care that are critical to the management of oral health, systemic health and general well-being:

1. Primary prevention to prevent disease onset

2. Diagnosis and risk prediction for oral conditions

3. Clinical intervention

Successful applications for CCRE funding 2007

CCRE Lead Institution Description
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Clinical Science in Diabetes Prof James Best University of Melbourne The Centre for Clinical Science in Diabetes will focus on recruiting, training and mentoring students and early career investigators in clinical diabetes research. Studies in patient cohorts will identify novel risk factors for vascular complications of diabetes to enable early preventive treatment. Nutritional and pharmacological intervention studies in Indigenous populations will influence the approach to their diabetes management. Beta cell transplantation studies will guide further development of this experimental therapy to treat type 1 diabetes. Ways of improving translation of research findings into practice will be studied directly in the primary care setting.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Prof Thomas Marwick University of Queensland This multidisciplinary group will undertake a series of unique studies aimed at understanding and preventing early cardiovascular complications of several metabolic conditions. Sensitive new cardiovascular imaging techniques will be used to detect preclinical abnormalities in the structure, function and metabolism of the heart and vasculature, facilitating the development of new strategies of exercise and lifestyle intervention to prevent these complications. While built on the successful current CCRE in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, including multidisciplinary clinical research training, the new application involves major new directions in the interface between the liver and metabolic syndrome, and strategies for community-based prevention programs.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health Prof Paul Hodges University of Queensland Spinal complaints present the greatest social and economic burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia. This reflects current realities: the cause remains unknown; 80% of the population is affected; and isolated professions perform a staggering array of interventions. The CCRE aims to target these realities and improve Australia’s capacity to prevent and manage spinal disorders by supporting innovative interdisciplinary research and training. This community- and university-based centre will align highly successful clinical and basic researchers in collaboration with a national network of spine scientists to foster interdisciplinary clinical researcher training, develop new diagnostics and therapeutics, and translate findings to the community.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Pulmonary and Environmental Medicine Prof Bruce Robinson University of Western Australia Pulmonary/environmental health problems represent an enormous health cost in Australia. This consortium brings together a group of clinicians and scientists with strong track records in clinical, laboratory and epidemiological research into some of the most important pulmonary/ environmental disorders. These include lung diseases caused by occupational exposure to environmental agents, such as asbestos and asthma-inducing chemicals, as well as non-occupational diseases caused or exacerbated by environmental agents, such as allergic asthma and cigarette-induced lung diseases. We will develop a program of training, research and treatment that will improve health care in these important disease areas.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Anxiety and Neuroscience Prof Richard Bryant University of New South Wales This Centre will bring together Australia’s leading anxiety and neuroscience researchers to develop, evaluate, and disseminate better treatments of anxiety. Building on recent advances in the neuroscience of anxiety, the Centre will expand the capacity for neurotransmitter modulation during therapy to reduce anxiety disorders. By extensive training programs with community clinicians, the Centre will conduct large-scale community trials to assess effectiveness of new approaches. The Centre will foster a new generation of neuroscience researchers and clinicians who are skilled in translating basic science findings into clinical practice.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Nutritional Physiology, Interventions, and Outcomes Prof Michael Horowitz University of Adelaide Over 20% of Australian adults either have diabetes, or are at imminent risk, while 60% are overweight or obese. Conversely, some 40% of the elderly receiving domiciliary support is at risk of malnutrition. Poor nutrition underpins numerous chronic diseases. We seek to capitalise on the expertise, synergies and multidisciplinary collaborations of several groups, all leaders in their fields, and whose collective track record in clinical nutrition research cannot be matched in Australia, to form a Centre of Excellence that encompasses the physiology of nutrition, dietary intervention strategies, and evaluation of outcomes, in diabetic, overweight, elderly, and critically unwell populations.

Successful applications for CCRE funding 2005

CCRE Lead Institution Description
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Child and Adolescent Immunisation A/Prof Jonathan Carapetis Murdoch Childrens Research Institute The Centre will enhance Australian clinical immunisation research and training, focussing upon clinical questions with translatable outcomes not easily addressed by industry. Optimal immunisation and interventions to maximise uptake of existing and new vaccines in high risk patient groups, such as children with cancer , immigrants, children with chronic diseases and adolescents will be studied. New vaccine trials, innovative use of existing vaccines, systematic collection of vaccine failure data, and targeted epidemiology and disease modelling vaccine preventable disease will also allow a broad program of research, enabling training and mentoring of young clinical nurse and physician researchers. Collaborations with existing national immunisation, infectious diseases and research institutions will allow maximal effectiveness of clinical studies.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Gait Analysis and Gait Rehabilitation Prof H Kerr Graham Murdoch Childrens Research Institute A substantial portion of the Australian population have some difficulty walking. People affected include children with cerebral palsy, people who’ve had injuries playing sport and older people with Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis or who have had a stroke. The cost of managing arthritic conditions alone was estimated at $2.2 Billion for 2001. Gait analysis uses high technology video cameras, force transducers, muscle activity sensors and computers to record how people walk and is now being used more and more commonly across Australia. The technology is very similar to that now being used to capture how people move for the movie industry. The technology allows us a better understanding of how people are moving and therefore of what treatments they are likely to benefit from. Melbourne now has four Gait Analysis facilities working with different patient groups and each with an international reputation for its work. These groups have combined to form the CCRE in Gait Analysis and Gait Rehabilitation under the leadership of Professor H Kerr Graham (Royal Children’s Hospital) and Professor Bob Iansek (Kingston Centre, Southern Health).
The Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine A/Prof Ronald Grunstein Royal Prince Alfred Hospital The CCRE will enhance Australia’s international research reputation in clinical respiratory and sleep medicine by enhancing links between hospital-based investigators. This will foster development of new clinical researchers in these fields. Major research projects will include reducing side effects of asthma therapy in the elderly, better and cheaper ways of diagnosing disorders such as sleep apnea and blood clots in the lung, keeping patients with chronic lung diseases out of hospital and avoiding accidents due to lack of sleep.
Clinical Centre of Research Excellence in Preventive and Early Intervention Strategies in Emerging Mental Disorders in Young People Prof Patrick McGorry ORYGEN Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Brain and Mind Institute, University of Sydney

The Centre will be developed through the extension of a youth psychiatry clinical research program of international standing across Melbourne and Sydney. The CCRE will have a major impact on the growth and sustainability of clinical research expertise in youth mental health and its translation into clinical practice. Funds will be targeted specifically at two key opportunities in an evolving structure, namely the early career path for emerging young clinical researchers and the need for more innovative and potent translation of clinical research into the real world of clinical practice. NHMRC CCRE funding will strengthen the ORC initiative by strategically filling gaps in early career development and training, and drive dissemination and translation of research into clinical practice across Australia.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Ophthalmology Outcomes Research Dr Konrad Pesudovs Flinders University The aim of the Centre is to contribute to the improvement of outcomes for eye-care. This will be achieved by expanding the evidence base for clinical interventions, particularly patient-centred outcomes, informing professionals who deliver eye-care of the evidence base and increasing access to care. The Centre will increase the evidence base by expanding the Australian Corneal Graft Registry, establishing other national registries, and by conducting clinical trials. It will increase access to care by establishing new models of eye care delivery for common eye problems in urban and remote populations and by developing efficient and cost-effective pathways to care which utilise a wide range of eye-care professionals.
Interdisciplinary clinical and health ethics research and training to improve outcomes in immunosuppressed haematology patients Prof Tania Sorrell University of Sydney The Centre will improve Australia’s capacity to combat and prevent life-threatening infections, and reduce adverse social outcomes, in high-risk children and adults with heavily suppressed immune systems. Infections cause most preventable disease and death in these patients. We will establish multidisciplinary training programmes in clinical and ethics research and build on our expertise in infectious diseases and microbiology, diagnostics, haematology, immunisation, health informatics and bioethics to improve patient outcomes. These outcomes will be translatable to other high-risk patients such as those with cancer and the critically ill.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Circulatory and Associated Conditions in Urban Indigenous Peoples Prof Brian Oldenburg Queensland University of Technology This Centre will focus on improving the prevention and management of circulatory and associated diseases in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in urban areas. The Centre will conduct and promote high quality research that will lead to improved workforce development and training and service delivery to Urban Indigenous populations. The research program will be conducted jointly with the Queensland Aboriginal Islander Health Forum.

Successful applications for CCRE funding 2003

CCRE Lead Institution Description
The Alfred/Monash Centre for Therapeutics and Clinical Research Prof Henry Krum Monash University The Centre will provide a national resource for the evaluation of new and existing drugs. It will focus particularly on investigator-initiated research that is not well served by present funding arrangements. With the cost of pharmaceuticals rising at an annual rate of 15-20 percent there is a clear need for independently developed, comparative information on both new and existing agents. It will also address the virtual absence in Australia of a major academic research focus on drug safety and pharmacoeconomics.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Infectious Diseases Prof Graham Brown University of Melbourne The Centre will enhance Australia's capacity in patient oriented research in infectious disease, building on the strengths of the Victorian Infectious Diseases Service for improvement of patient outcomes and betterment of human health. They will strengthen programs in clinical virology, infections in immunocompromised hosts, infections of travellers and immigrants, computer assisted decision making and will fill an important gap in training and mentoring physicians for clinical research.
Clinical Centre of Research Excellence for the Study of Women's Health A/Prof Susan Davis Monash University The major health issues affecting women from the mid-reproductive years include depression, disorders of mood and sexual function, and breast cancer, with cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis becoming increasingly prevalent with age. Linking each of these are their known or probable causal associations with oestrogens and androgens. This Centre will provide an opportunity for comprehensive and multidisciplinary research into the role of oestrogens and androgens in these disorders.
Alfred and Baker Medical Unit Centre for Clinical Cardiovascular Research Prof Garry Jennings Baker Heart Research Institute This Centre has three objectives: to create clinical research platforms; to provide time and training for advanced cardiology trainees, young clinical academics, research nurses, allied health staff and non-medical science graduates; and to translate previously established local and international research outcomes into knowledge, education and health benefits for the wider Australian community.
Neurosciences: Cross-discipline Enhancement of Clinical Research and Education Prof Geoffrey Donnan National Stroke Research Institute, Melbourne This Centre has developed an innovative multidisciplinary model for hospital based clinical research into the common public health problems of stroke and epilepsy. This comprises: research into mechanisms, outcome and rehabilitation of stroke and epilepsy, teaching research skills, career development, and external assessment. Clinicians, researchers and students from medicine, nursing, allied health will be involved. This approach will enhance wider dissemination of research into the community and may provide a model for other clinical research programs.
Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Disease/Metabolic Disorders Prof Thomas Marwick University of Queensland Cardiovascular complications are the main cause of morbidity in a number of metabolic diseases, including diabetes and renal failure. The Centre's objective is to bring together six successful clinical research groups in cardiovascular and metabolic disorders in collaboration with specialists in telemedicine, to address the interface between these diseases and to train a group of clinical researchers skilled in multi-disciplinary research. The planned research includes mechanistic studies as well as interventional studies that will be translated to clinical practice.
Centre of Clinical Research Excellence to Improve Outcomes in Chronic Liver Disease Prof Geoffrey Farrell University of Sydney This Centre will provide new information to improve clinical outcomes for people with chronic liver disease. Among people referred by GPs with abnormal liver tests, two thirds have hepatitis C or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. The Centre aims to develop non-invasive ways to identify those with progressive liver disease, and will assess whether lifestyle adjustments (diet and exercise) improve liver injury and fibrosis progression. They hope to improve the health and survival of people with advanced stage cirrhosis who are waiting for a liver transplant by correcting nutritional problems, osteoporosis and earlier detection and treatment of liver cancer. The program forms the basis for clinical research training for GPs, specialists, nurses, dieticians, sports medicine and other health care professionals.
Centre of Clinical Research Excellence in Renal Medicine Dr Jonathan Craig University of Sydney This Centre aims to answer important research questions such as: Does screening for early renal disease prevent kidney failure? Does renal disease in Aboriginal people begin in early childhood? What causes transplanted kidneys to fail? With the worldwide editorial base of the Cochrane Renal Group, the editorial base on the National Guidelines on Renal Disease and close links with the Master of Medicine (Clinical Epidemiology) program at the University of Sydney, this Centre will also provide proven mechanisms for clinical research training and translation of research findings into clinical practice.
Centre for Training in Clinical Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Research Professor Ian Puddey University of Western Australia This Centre proposes to expand its highly successful Centre of Clinical Excellence funded by NHMRC from 1998-2001. The Centre provided the opportunity in Western Australia for the highest quality clinical research training in comprehensive spheres relevant to the pathogenesis, prevention and therapeutics of cardiovascular disease, with an emphasis on the role of nutrition and lifestyle in relation to high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, dyslipidaemia and the function of blood vessels. The new Centre will broaden the scope of its research and training activities, through the inclusion of clinical projects related to heart failure, clinical and epidemiological research into cerebrovascular disease and stroke and research training opportunities with respect to clotting disorders and therapeutics for thrombosis.
Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Ms Wendy Edmondson Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia The Centre’s mission is to improve Aboriginal health. It will conduct Aboriginal community-controlled population health and outcome-oriented research on strategies and systems that support individuals and communities to prevent and manage chronic diseases. The Centre will provide a range of research and other training opportunities for Aboriginal people, building the capacity of Aboriginal communities to direct and conduct their own health research independently. The Centre will be led by the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia in partnership with Flinders University.