The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, has today announced that the Frontier Medical Technologies Program is officially open to funding applications at an event at the University of Canberra.
Funded from the Medical Research Future Fund, the Frontier Medical Technologies Program was developed in conjunction with Research Australia to provide a funding boost for research areas such as space medicine, precision medicine, machine learning, cell-based medicines and immunotherapy.
Professor Gordon Waddington, Director of the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise, showed Mr Hunt the vision and balance testing systems and the Earth/Moon/Mars gravity load test system at the University, which have been used for work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“This collaborative research aims to develop novel interventions for minimising the loss of movement function associated with exposure to weightlessness during long periods of space travel, such as would occur when travelling to Mars,” said Professor Waddington.
“This work will have direct carry over to the health of Australians as the interventions being developed will help to reduce injury during physical activity in young persons and reduce falls in older individuals,” he expanded.
It is this direct link to improving the health of everyday Australians in the future that highlights the importance of frontier medical research funding.
“Initiatives such as the Frontier Health and Medical Research grants could assist in significantly speeding up the translation of the work we are undertaking in the field of ‘space medicine’ and transferring it to everyday use for improving healthy and injury free lives for older Australians,” said Professor Waddington.
Research Australia CEO, Nadia Levin, also spoke about the importance of funding for these research areas.
“As the national peak body for health and medical research, Research Australia is always looking for ways to ensure Australia is positioned as a global leader in health innovation.
“We’re thrilled with Minister Hunt’s announcement today and this wonderful investment in emerging fields in health and medical research. It’s advances in frontier disciplines, like Prof Waddington’s space medicine research, which will fundamentally change the way future generations manage their health.”
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