Supporting Australia’s outstanding health and medical researchers

Summary media release information

29 August 2014
NHMRC Media Release
Contact for further information: 
NHMRC Media Team - 0422 008 512 | 02 6217 9121

Seventy four researchers at the peak of their careers have received prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council Research Fellowships.

The Fellowships support researchers with incredibly strong career track records, many with a proven ability to translate research into commercial, health practice or policy outcomes.

To be successful, the Fellows had to be in the top 10% of their fields and submit highly innovative research proposals with the potential to have a transformative impact on a disease, condition or the health system.
“NHMRC Research Fellows push the boundaries of research,” CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said.

“They have a clear vision for their research, and in progressing their vision, advance their field and enhance Australia’s research capacity in that area. They are among Australia’s brightest hopes for delivering breakthroughs in new treatments and practices.”

“Many of these researchers are already leaders in their field, and these Fellowships offer the potential to enhance not only Australian research in their speciality, but that of researchers around the world.”

This year’s successful Research Fellows will be undertaking activities such as investigating ways of repairing the brain after injury, improving our understanding of human movement control and using “omics”-based technologies to work towards new treatments for multiple sclerosis.

The fellowships were one part of an announcement made by Minister for Health, Peter Dutton  today, which also included $5 million for an NHMRC Mental Health Targeted Call for Research and $8 million for Practitioner Fellowships.

Research Fellowship highlights

Associate Professor James Bourne, Monash University ($611,645)

Associate Professor Bourne’s research will involve learning how the infant brain has an enhanced capacity to repair its own neocortex following an injury and to translate these findings into the development of brain regenerative therapies.

Professor Simon Gandevia, University of New South Wales ($911,915)

This fellowship is concerned with understanding the neurophysiology of human movement control. The findings from this research will potentially offer benefits for people who suffer a stroke or spinal injury or a movement disorder associated with ageing.

Associate Professor David Booth, University of Sydney ($611,645)

Using “omics”-based technologies such as genomics, Associate Professor Booth will seek to shed light on how genetic variation affects immune response and may contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other conditions. He will also test potential MS therapies including UV light and vitamin D.

A full list of the outcomes from today’s grants announcement is available on the NHMRC website.