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$42.9 million to bolster health research

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Research into dementia, cancer, superbugs, painkillers, and children’s health are among 51 University of Queensland projects that will benefit from National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) 2018 Project Grant funding announced.

The medical grants body’s $42.88 million allocation for UQ research projects is almost $10 million more than the $32.98 million it granted the University in 2017.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said UQ’s health research focused on practical solutions for medical conditions affecting millions of people around the world.

“The funding will support research into dementia diagnosis, intervention and care, work to develop non-opioid painkillers, and projects focussing on cancer, superbugs and the management of asthma in pregnancy,” Professor Høj said.

He said the significant rise in UQ’s NHMRC Project Grant funding was an affirming reflection of UQ’s researchers and their work.

“The NHMRC saw the potential for many of the UQ proposals to transform the way we treat disease,” he said.

He noted two of the grants were worth more than $2 million and 10 were for more than $1 million.

Close to half of UQ’s 2018 funding will go to the Faculty of Medicine, accounting for $20 million across 18 projects.

Another 10 projects at UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience will share $7.8 million.

Faculty of Medicine intensive care specialist Professor Andreas Schibler received two grants totalling $4.5 million, including $2.63 million for research into acute respiratory failure – the most common reason children are admitted to hospital.

Professor Schibler hopes early intervention with new “nasal hi-flow” therapy to support breathing could reduce the number of children admitted to intensive care.

Professor Schibler also received $1.9 million for research into congenital heart disease – a leading cause of infant mortality in industrialised countries.

Dr Leanne Sakzewski in the Faculty of Medicine was awarded grants totalling $2.1 million for two projects that aim to improve movement and quality of life for children with cerebral palsy.

Funding to Institute for Molecular Bioscience research included $1.09 million for Professor Alpha Yap’s work examining a newly discovered mechanism the body uses to protect itself from cancer.

Source: UQ

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