Funding boost for Faculty research

21 Sep 2022

Research projects addressing health challenges including frailty care in hospitals, tobacco use and how immune system senses and responds to environmental cues have been awarded funding in September.

Congratulations to the following Faculty of Medicine researchers and their teams who were awarded grants through the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC):

NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence

This CRE will improve hospital outcomes for frail patients by helping healthcare systems understand the impact of frailty on outcomes and costs, developing clinical practice guidelines for frailty informed care across multiple disciplines, developing a core outcome set for frail patients, and upskilling the next generation of researchers and clinicians.

NHMRC-EU Collaborative Research Grant Scheme

Clinical validation of Artificial Intelligence for providing a personalised motor clinical profile assessment and rehabilitation of upper limb in children with unilateral Cerebral Palsy. Children with hemiplegia have impairments to hand function and mobility. Accurate diagnosis is important for accessing tailored interventions, individualised rehabilitation and prognosis for education, employment and independent living.

Youth-GEMs: Gene Environment interactions in Mental health trajectories of Youth. This project aims to improve prediction of mental health trajectories by including biological markers as that will facilitate targeted intervention.

NHMRC Partnership Projects

The aim to improve Australian health outcomes by decreasing unnecessary and potentially harmful long-term prescribing of antidepressants in general practice. The outcomes of the research will include a validated antidepressant discontinuation model and proven implementation strategies to foster sustainable improvement in primary mental health care.

ARC Future Fellowships

This program aims to define how the immune system senses and responds to environmental cues. By combining interdisciplinary approaches with cutting-edge imaging and spatial biology technologies, this program expects to reveal how immune sensor proteins are regulated at the molecular, cellular and tissue level. Outcomes of this program include unparalleled insights into molecular mechanisms that underpin effective functioning of the immune system, training of future scientists, and strengthening international collaborations across academia and industry.

This project aims to develop new regulatory options for tobacco to minimise the legal market while avoiding the adverse societal and economic impacts of transferring consumer demand to illegal tobacco products. It addresses a significant current concern about a growing illegal tobacco market and seeks to improve understanding of the impact of tobacco control policies on the illegal market, and the societal impacts.

ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards

  • Dr Lachlan Harris (School of Biomedical Sciences) - $444,576

Most adult stem cells in our brains are sleeping - quiescent. Quiescence helps ensure animals have a lifelong population of brain stem cells, which is crucial for the maintenance of brain circuitry. This project aims to investigate how this process is regulated at a molecular level. This project expects to define the molecular playbook controlling quiescence and explain why brain stem cells progress into deeper states of quiescence during aging.

As Australia implements policies that reduce the availability and affordability of tobacco, demand for illicit tobacco is likely to grow. This research aims to generate new knowledge about the drivers and deterrents of demand for illicit tobacco through three inter-related projects. Expected outcomes include a comprehensive understanding of factors influencing Australians’ demand for illicit tobacco, and expert-informed policy recommendations to reduce demand for and deter use of illicit tobacco.