The University of Melbourne will lead one of two new national research centres – the Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI) – with funding of $23.3 million over the next four years, aimed at improving the lives of people living with diabetes.
Established by MTPConnect’s Targeted Transition Research Accelerator (TTRA) Initiative, the ACADI Research Centre has been awarded $10 million over four years from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund. Co-contributions from academic and industry partners will allow ACADI to progress 18 research projects addressing diabetic kidney disease, peripheral neuropathy and diabetic foot syndrome, short-term complications of hypoglycaemia, hyperglycaemic hyperosmolar syndrome (HHS) and ketoacidosis.
University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor James McCluskey said the investment by the Australian Government will allow the University and ACADI partners including clinicians, researchers, industry and the community to jointly build the research hub.
“The funding will support Australia in being a global leader addressing many of the serious complications of diabetes. The centre will be established for the long term, to bring continuing benefit to people living with diabetes, the diabetes professional community and the national economy,” Professor McCluskey said.
“Convened by the University of Melbourne, ACADI is a strong collaboration of clinicians, researchers, industry and patient advocacy groups who will deliver novel interventions for timely diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications. We are also delighted the Centre will be led by Associate Professor Elif Ekinci.”
ACADI will build a national multi-sector collaboration of 70 partners from clinical, research, industry and community organisations across all Australian States and Territories.
“As a clinician researcher, I see first-hand the impact of diabetes related kidney disease, diabetes foot ulcers, neuropathy and amputations and life-threatening diabetes emergencies have on people living with diabetes and their families,” ACADI Director, Associate Professor Elif Ekinci, said.
“Thanks to MRFF funding, as well as our 70 partners and an amazing team of researchers across the country, ACADI will deliver innovative projects aimed to prevent and treat these serious and life-threatening complications. These projects will lead to new health treatments therapeutics, interventions, devices and diagnostics and we will embed these innovations into clinical practice using leading-edge methods and models from implementation science, and an ongoing evaluation program to enable continuous enhancement of implementation strategies.
“We expect tangible impact on diabetes complication rates and associated rates and costs of dialysis, transplant, amputation and diabetes complication-associated morbidity and mortality across Australia.”
Around 1.8 million Australians have diabetes according to Diabetes Australia, with one person contracting the disease every five minutes. Globally, 500 million people are estimated to have the illness.