Funding windfall for QUT research projects

Four QUT research projects, three of which are concerned with the health and welfare of children, have been awarded a combined total of $5,281,731 in the latest round of grants announced this week by the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Dr Rosana Pacella from the faculty of health, leads the first national study of child maltreatment in Australia: prevalence, health outcomes, and burden of disease, which has received $2,311,217.

She is joined in the project by QUT colleagues Professor Michael Dunne and Professor Ben Matthews, as well as Associate Professor James Scott (UQ), Professor David Finkelhor (University of New Hampshire), Professor Franziska Meinck (University of Oxford), Professor Daryl Higgins (Australian Catholic University), Dr Holly Erskine (UQ), and Dr Hannah Thomas (Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research).

Their study aims to close some critical gaps that exist in regards to the prevalence of physical, sexual and emotional abuse of children, along with exposure to domestic violence, and how it contributes to poor public health outcomes.

Another research project, headed by Professor Stewart Trost, Associate Director of QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IBHI), is focussed on the short and long-term effects of therapeutic exercise in children with bronchiectasis: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial.

Professor Trost and the other members of the research team – Dr Kerry-Ann O’Grady (QUT), Associate Professor Ian Masters (UQ), Dr Christopher Drovandi (QUT), and Dr Vikas Goyal (UQ) – were awarded $1,169,557

A further $1,224,150 was approved for Associate Professor Leila Cuttle (pictured below) and team – Professor Fiona Wood (UWA), Professor Roy Kimble (Children’s Health Queensland), Associate Professor Mark Fear (UWA), Professor Andrew Holland (University of Sydney), and Dr Tony Parker (QUT) – for their work into the use of biomarkers in children to predict healing potential, optimise burn wound care and achieve better patient outcomes.

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The QUT fourth research project funded is an evaluation of a new therapeutic strategy for treatment of systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Led by Research Fellow Dr Tony Kenna, the team also includes Distinguished Professor Matt Brown – QUT’s Director of Genomics (pictured right) – Associate Professor Glenda Gobe (UQ) and Dr Qiang Cheng (Monash University. The NHMRC awarded them $576,807.

In addition to the research grants, Mr Paul Dunn was named as the recipient as the prestigious $88,502 Dora Lush Biomedical Postgraduate Scholarship. Based at IBHI, Mr Dunn’s work concerns the identification of new genes and genetic factors causing CADASIL (an inherited condition that causes stroke and other impairments) and related stroke and vascular dementia disorders.

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