Over $4 million in medical research projects in Western Australia

Summary media release information

24 November 2017
Media Release
Contact for further information: 

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

The Turnbull Government will invest $4.62 million in seven Western Australian health research projects at Curtin University, aimed at improving the lives of Australian patients.

The projects to be undertaken include investigating lower back pain, examining vitamin D deficiency and addressing issues relating to heavy binge drinking.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the grants will support researchers with funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

“This funding will support Australia’s talented researchers to find solutions to health challenges facing many Australian patients,” Minister Hunt said.

“We have some of the brightest minds in the world and the Turnbull Government is committed to backing Australian medical researchers to uncover more home grown discoveries.”

Minister for Women and Senator for Western Australia, Michaelia Cash, said it was encouraging that five out of the seven projects to be funded under these round of grants funding are led by female researchers.

“I am delighted that Dr Lucinda Black is one of those receiving $386,476 for research into vitamin D deficiency,” Minister Cash said.

“Vitamin D deficiency is a significant public health issue in Australia with almost one in four adults, and one in five adolescents being vitamin D deficient. Although vitamin D can be obtained from sun exposure and diet, we know very little about dietary vitamin D in Australia.”

“This project will determine how much vitamin D is in Australian foods, how much people get from their usual diets, and whether increasing vitamin D in foods would be a safe and effective way to reduce vitamin D deficiency.”

“Today’s funding announcement reinforces the Turnbull Government’s commitment to health and medical research.”

Member for Swan, Steve Irons MP, said that the research to be undertaken at Curtin will address public health issues that affect all Australians.

“$1.21 million will be provided to Associate Professor Peter Kent who will lead a project that examines new and innovative treatments of lower back pain,” Mr Irons said.

“Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability in Australia, with an enormous cost burden for society. Available treatments have resulted in only moderate improvements that typically do not last.

“This project will investigate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of two new treatments that have shown promising early results including an individualised movement and cognitive rehabilitation approach (‘Cognitive Functional Therapy’) and biofeedback from wireless movement sensors worn on the spine.”

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said NHMRC’s grants would support important Curtin University research.

“I am delighted to congratulate our researchers for their success in securing funding in this round of NHMRC grants and would like to thank NHMRC for their ongoing commitment to important health research at Curtin University,” Professor Terry said.

This funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council’s grants program, continues the Turnbull Government’s support for Australia’s talented researchers and innovators to find solutions to health challenges.

See full media release

Media Contacts:

Minister Hunt’s Office: John O’Doherty 0402 047 852
Minister Cash’s Office: Andrew Hudgson 0429 500 913
Member for Swan’s Office: Amber Newton 0418 555 182