$33 Million for WA Researchers Promises a Healthier Future

Summary media release information

28 November 2017
Media Release
Contact for further information: 

NHMRC Media Team
M: 0422 008 512
E: media@nhmrc.gov.au

The impact of pregnant mothers’ diets on their babies’ food allergies is among 37 significant Western Australian research projects to share in over $33 million in funding from the Turnbull Government.

Announcing the grants today, Aged Care Minister and Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt said they would cover a range of innovative research, including preterm birth, lung disease, heart disease and cancer.

“This is a golden age for WA and Australian medical research, with projects that will save and protect lives,” Minister Wyatt said.

“The Turnbull Government is unwavering in our commitment to support the best possible health and medical research that will lead to better health outcomes for all Australians.”

Minister Wyatt congratulated researchers from the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, the University of Notre Dame, Edith Cowan University and Murdoch University.

UWA will receive funding for 27 research projects worth over $27 million.

“$3.6 million has been awarded to Dr Debra Palmer who is undertaking a research trial to better understand the impact of food choices during pregnancy on childhood food allergies,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Food allergies now affect more than one in every ten children and recently, babies have been found to be on the path to developing a food allergy even before they start eating solid foods.

“Dr Palmer aims to determine whether mothers regularly eating more eggs and peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding will reduce allergies in their infants.”

UWA Associate Professor Peter Henry has been awarded $520,821 to support research into the treatment of asthma and other lung diseases.

“Many people have difficulty breathing because the airway tubes that move air in and out of their lungs are blocked by excessive amounts of sticky mucus,” said Minister Wyatt.

“This research will use new techniques to investigate whether a group of medicines called ‘macrolides’ can help people breathe more easily.”

Today’s research allocations come from the National Health and Medical Research Council’s flagship Project Grant scheme.

“This funding follows on from the Prime Minister’s October announcement of more than $200 million to medical research,” said Minister Wyatt.

“WA has many talented researchers and I congratulate every one of today’s grant recipients because their dedication and skills are helping secure a healthier future for Australia and the world.”

Details of research grants are available at www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants-funding/outcomes-funding-rounds

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449

University of Western Australia 27 $27,301,021.57
Curtin University 7 $4,620,396.60
Edith Cowan University 1 $596,083.90
Edith Cowan University 1 $797,165.00
University of Notre Dame 1 $518,588.40
TOTAL 37 $33,833,255.47