Scientists receive funding for rare diseases

30 Jan 2018

University of Queensland researchers have shared in $26 million in Federal Government funding for rare cancers, rare diseases and clinical trials for unmet needs.

The Medical Research Future Fund has announced funding for 19 research projects, four of which involve scientists from UQ’s Faculty of Medicine.

Professor Maher Gandhi, from UQ’s Diamantina Institute, received $1.6 million to investigate a triple-therapy regimen to target rare brain cancers, for which no therapy currently exists.

Professor Claire Wainwright, from UQ’s Child Health Research Centre, has received $2 million for a platform trial into the management of Mycobacterium abscessus complex – a multi-drug resistant type of bacteria that causes severe lung infection in vulnerable individuals.

Mater Research Institute-UQ researcher Professor Janet Hardy will investigate the role of medicinal cannabis to relieve symptoms for cancer patients in palliative care. The $1.3 million clinical trial will evaluate the efficacy, safety and acceptability of medicinal cannabinoids for people with advanced cancer.

UQ researchers from the Translational Research Institute will also be involved in a $1.1 million clinical trial for end-stage kidney disease.

The BEST-Fluids clinical trial, involving Australian and New Zealand researchers, will investigate which fluids produce the best results for kidney transplant patients.

The trial, co-ordinated by UQ-based Australasian Kidney Trials Network (AKTN), includes UQ researchers Dr Michael Collins and Dr Magid Fahim partnering with University of Sydney Professor Steven Chadban. They will work with Associate Professor Carmel Hawley who leads the AKTN.