UNIVERSITY of Newcastle academics have been awarded $12.4 million by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to support 14 projects aimed at solving critical health problems.
The largest grant, at $1.83 million, went to Professor Billie Bonevski, the university’s inaugural Women in STEMM chair, for a trial that looks at how vaporised nicotine products or “vaping” worked for people discharged from residential drug and alcohol withdrawal services.
Other major grants went to Dr Yogavijayan Kandasamy ($1.55 million) for researching the relationship between maternal health and infant renal development and function, Professor Adam McCluskey ($1.49 million) for research into immunotherapy resistance in head and neck cancer, and Laureate Professor Paul Foster ($1.27 million) for work on immune cells and asthma.
The university’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Kevin Hall, said this year’s outcome demonstrated the capacity of the University’s researchers across all stages of their careers.
“Despite an increasingly competitive environment, our researchers have once again been extremely successful in securing funding for projects that will improve medical practice and make a real difference to the health and well being of Australians,” Professor Hall said.
“It is also wonderful to see so many of our early and mid-career academics helping to shape the country’s medical agenda by developing new solutions for significant health challenges that affect millions of individuals.”
The new director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute, Professor Tom Walley, said the funding success showed the power of leveraging for donors who had seed-funded and supported many of the successful projects.
“It highlights the strong community commitment to our leading programs in many areas,” Professor Walley said.
“It’s also pleasing to see that our translational focus is reflected in the results.
The full list of recipients
Associate Professor Christopher Dayas $751,653
A novel pathways linking stress with mood disorders
Professor Lee Smith - $507,127
The importance of classical versus backdoor androgen production pathways in masculinisation, fertility and lifelong male health
Dr Malcolm Starkey $501,022
Understanding how group 2 innate lymphoid cells in early life regulate postnatal lung development and susceptibility to chronic respiratory diseases
Professor Billie Bonevski $1,833,513
A trial of vaporised nicotine products for smoking cessation following discharge from drug and alcohol residential withdrawal services
Dr Kirsty Pringle $578,528
Factors regulating maternal levels of soluble (pro)renin receptor and its role in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia
Professor Brett Nixon - $572,394
Targeted disruption of lipoxygenase enzymes to prevent oxidative stress-mediated pathologies in the male germline
Professor Philip Hansbro $886,504
Development of new therapies for COPD
Professor Xu Dong Zhang $702,521
Role of lncRNA glycoLINC in coordinating the Warburg effect and serine metabolism
Laureate Professor Paul Foster $1,266,560
Modelling the role of innate immune cells in exacerbation of asthma
Professor Adam McCluskey $1,493,752
Dynamin modulators for reversing immunotherapy resistance in head and neck cancer
Dr Yogavijayan Kandasamy $1,552,842
The relationship between maternal health and infant renal development and function
Dr Geoffry De Iuliis $425,394
Utilising the male germline to define our understanding of the biological effects of radio frequency electromagnetic energy:
Dr Jonathan Paul $461,473
Uterine-targeted delivery of dual action therapy for preventing preterm birth
Professor Jonathan Hirst $892,047
Replacement therapies for improving outcomes following preterm birth