NHMRC grants benefit medical researchers

18 Oct 2017

Researchers from The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Medicine have been awarded National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Fellowships totalling more than $4 million.

Fellowships were awarded to 10 Faculty researchers, working on projects ranging from improving treatment for blood disorders to managing asthma during pregnancy.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Faculty of Medicine Acting Executive Dean Professor Robyn Ward said the NHMRC support provided vital funding for medical research, which often began with generous community donations.

“I am delighted that UQ’s world-class researchers have received this funding to accelerate translational research and focus on outcomes across a range of health disciplines,” Professor Ward said.

UQ Diamantina Institute’s (UQDI) Professor David Evans was awarded $707,370 to identify genes, biological molecules and environmental factors that cause some people to have a higher risk of osteoporosis and ankylosing spondylitis, a form of autoimmune arthritis.

“This research will advance understanding of the causes of these diseases, identify new opportunities for their treatment, and provide the scientific community with new statistical methods and software to identify factors that causally influence risk of disease,” Professor Evans said.

Five Early Career Fellowships were awarded to Faculty researchers, including Dr Kath Benfer from the Centre for Child Health Research, who was awarded $286,891.20, and Dr Fiona Charlson from the School of Public Health ($318,768).

Dr Benfer will use a novel early intervention program, ‘Learning through Everyday Activities with Parents’, to improve early detection and outcomes for Indigenous children at high risk of cerebral palsy.

Dr Charlson’s research aims to investigate predictors, prevention and treatment of mental health disorders in vulnerable populations to better inform resource allocation and service delivery.

Other NHMRC recipients included:

Research Fellows

Career Development Fellows

  • Dr Sumaira Hasnain (MRI-UQ) –Targeting immunopathology in chronic diseases, $431,000

Early Career Fellows

  • Dr Holly Erskine (School of Public Health) –The natural history of disruptive behaviour disorders: Symptom trajectory, outcomes, and intervention, $318,768
  • Haolu Wang (UQ Diamantina Institute) – Efficacious targeting of therapeutic stem cells to diseased livers, $318,768
  • Dr Suzanne Parker (UQ Centre for Clinical Research) –Translating a drop of blood into effective antibiotic dosing in infants and children, $318,768
  • Dr Ella Trembizki (UQ Centre for Clinical Research) –Tackling urgent antimicrobial resistance threats in Australia-in action, $318,768