$290 Million Funding Boost for Victorian Researchers

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Summary media release information

19 October 2012
Ministerial Media Release
Contact for further information: 
NHMRC Media Team: David Cooper, 0422 008 512

Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing

The University of Melbourne and Monash University topped the list of funded metropolitan and regional universities in today’s announcement of $652 million grants for health and medical research.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Catherine King said the University of Melbourne was the most successful research institution nationwide, winning $89.1 million for 161 grants while researchers at Monash University will benefit from $86.2 million for 147 grants.

In total, Victorian universities and medical research institutes will receive 498 grants totalling $290 million. This investment will ensure that Victoria and the rest of Australia continue to expand the frontiers of health and medical research.

“These grants support our research community to continue to do what they do so well – making cutting edge discoveries that improve the diagnosis, treatment and cure of illnesses that touch all Australians,” Ms King said.

“The grants announced today will ensure that young researchers have a solid foundation for their career, experienced researchers can run innovative research projects and clinicians can integrate their clinical skills into research practice.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting Australia’s role as the clever country. That is why the Government, through the NHMRC, continues to fund health and medical research at record levels.”

Research in Victoria will cover a diversity of areas, including research to ensure children get the best possible start in life.

The grant highlights include:

$758,227 for protecting the newborn brain

Project Grant - Monash University

Dr Suzanne Miller
Professor Euan Wallace
Professor Graham Jenkin
Dr Michael Fahey
Professor Michael Ditchfield
Dr Rod Hunt

During labour, asphyxic episodes which cause a severe reduction in oxygen supply can become prolonged and result in perinatal brain injury, termed Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, which may underlie cerebral palsy. Presently, newborn infants with suspected encephalopathy are cooled, which modestly protects the brain against cellular injury. In this study, the investigators propose that the administration of melatonin to the newborn, in addition to cooling, will decrease the post-asphyxic formation of oxygen free radicals, thereby reducing the progression of brain damage.

$652,765 for population paediatrics and translational child health

Research Fellowship - Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Professor Melissa Wake

Chronic child health and developmental conditions, such as obesity, language and literacy problems, and mental health problems, affect many hundreds of thousands of Australian children. This study aims to work towards the best possible health outcomes for children, both during childhood and as adults, by identifying effective and sustainable interventions that can be systematically delivered in the primary and secondary sectors.

Further information:

All NHMRC grants announced today can be found on the NHMRC website here.