Projects focused on cancer treatment, heart failure and sporting injuries are among several awarded grants by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to La Trobe University researchers.
Four Ideas Grants and two Postgraduate Scholarships have been awarded, totalling $2.98 million.
La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement) Professor Susan Dodds said the grants recognise the cutting-edge research La Trobe academics are undertaking in health science.
“These projects have the potential to make a real difference to the quality of life and treatment for people with cancer and other illnesses,” Professor Dodds said.
La Trobe researchers have been awarded $14m in funding in 2019 from the NHMRC and Medical Research Future Fund.
Associate Professor Peter Janes – $573,135 (Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute – La Trobe School of Cancer Medicine)
Associate Professor Janes’ study will investigate treatments to target a cell surface protein that can promote the growth of tumours.
Dr Lisa Mielke – $579,508 (Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute – La Trobe School of Cancer Medicine)
Dr Mielke’s project will identify how immunotherapy drugs can be developed and adapted to treat colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in Australia.
Dr Alexander Pinto – $1,059,932 (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Microbiology, School of Life Sciences/Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute)
Dr Pinto’s study will investigate how cell networks change during the development of heart failure and how these networks can be targeted to prevent or treat heart failure.
Assoc Prof Karla Helbig and Dr Donna Whelan – $535,495 (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Microbiology, School of Life Sciences and Department of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, School of Molecular Sciences)
Assoc Prof Helbig and Dr Whelan will investigate novel treatment methods for viral infections by harnessing the human body’s own innate anti-viral response.
Michael Girdwood – $113,963 (La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport)
Mr Girdwood will study the brain’s control of movement after serious knee injury, and how this changes over the course of rehabilitation.
Zuzana Machotka – $113,963 (La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport)
Ms Machotka will investigate the relationship between hip muscle size and hip pain, with the aim of developing strategies to prevent or limit hip-related pain in young adults.