Medicine & Health researchers awarded $1.5 million NHMRC funding

Sydney researchers have received 13 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants worth over $1.5 million.

Professor Simon Lewis from the Faculty and Medicine and Health and the Brain and Mind Centre has secured a $462,501 grant as part of the 2021 NHMRC- European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND) as part of the COgNiTive propagation in PRodrOmal Parkinson’s Disease: CONTROL-PD.

Professor Lewis and his team will investigate
REM sleep behaviour disorder as a predictor of Parkinson’s Disease in older people by assessing
groups of local patients. The data will be assessed locally before being pooled
with that of international research teams in the Netherlands, France, Germany,
Israel and Canada. The research aims to provide a better understanding of how
Parkinson’s Disease spreads through the central and peripheral nervous systems
to improve patient outcomes and enable earlier access to disease modifying
therapies.

Twelve University of Sydney students also
received NHMRC postgraduate scholarships valued at $1,092,731.

The grants are part of a $44 million dollar
investment by the Federal Government to strengthen Australian participation in
international research efforts and promote global health objectives by funding
postgraduate scholarships, international collaboration and research
infrastructure and equipment through the National Health and Medical Research
Council (NHMRC). The funding aims to assist Australian based researchers
participating in collaborative international research projects.

Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg
Hunt, said sharing scientific knowledge enables Australian researchers to
develop best practices and build international research networks that will
accelerate discoveries and their translation into better health outcomes.

“NHMRC’s international partnerships bring
researchers together to promote global health objectives and strengthen
Australian participation in international research efforts,” Minister Hunt
said.

“This collaboration begins with postgraduate
research students learning from their mentors, sharing skills and ideas and
continues with international partnerships when researchers around the world
come together to solve shared health challenges,” NHMRC CEO Professor Anne
Kelso AO said.

The twelve Sydney students awarded NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarships are:

  • Tara Guckel: Advancing the prevention and early intervention for co-occurring anxiety and alcohol use disorders ($93,056)
  • Sophia Garlick Bock: Comorbid Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Use Among Sexuality and Gender Diverse Young People in Australia ($93,056)
  • Shania Liu: Responsible pre-operative Opioid use for Hip and knee ArthropLasTy (OpioidHALT) study ($81,985)
  • Dr Noa Amir: Identifying and addressing the needs and priorities of patients with genetic kidney disease and their families ($97,640)
  • Dr Edmund Chung: Treatments to expand regulatory T cells and/or deplete autoantibody production in primary membranous nephropathy ($97,640)
  • Karan Shah: Economic evaluation of strategies to increase kidney donation and transplantation ($80,201)
  • Dr Deonna Ackermann: Optimising trial processes and generating translational gains: Studies Within A Trial (SWATs) for the MELSELF randomised controlled trial of patient-led melanoma surveillance. ($62,204)
  • Erin Madden: Improving evidence-based practice for comorbid alcohol and other drug and mental health conditions: the role of implementation science and quality improvement toolkits ($93,056)
  • Ashwin Bhaskaran: Ventricular arrhythmia mechanisms and therapies ($135,002)
  • Chandana Guha: Improving care and outcomes for vulnerable patients with chronic kidney disease – the young and the elderly ($67,346)
  • Dr Kasun De Silva: Novel technologies and strategies to identify arrhythmogenic substrate and triggers for sudden cardiac death ($90,168)
  • Dr Oliver Cronin: The Science of Cold Snare Polypectomy

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