One-off funding to help emerging health and medical researchers
Awards support a diverse field of medical research projects
A total of 14 Project Grant Merit Awards and seven Fellowship Merit Awards
State Government research funding totalling $1.3 million will help 20 local health and medical researchers improve their chances of securing National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants and fellowships.
The researchers, all of whom came close to receiving a NHMRC Project Grant, Early Career Fellowship or Career Development Fellowship in 2014, have each received a one-off State Government payment to strengthen their applications in future NHMRC funding rounds.
Announcing 14 Project Grant Merit Awards and seven Fellowship Merit Awards, Health Minister Kim Hames said that NHMRC funding was extremely competitive and many high-quality applications were unsuccessful only because the NHMRC did not have the capacity to fund every viable proposal.
"But these researchers all impressed the NHMRC with their applications and we are hopeful that the support provided by these awards will help them make it over the line in future funding rounds," Dr Hames said.
"Each of the recipients is an emerging scientist undertaking important medical research that has the real potential to positively influence health outcomes for local and wider communities."
Project Grant Merit Awards provide a payment of up to $75,000 to researchers who narrowly missed out on a NHMRC Project Grant while Fellowship Merit Awards, provide $50,000 to assist those who came close to receiving a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship or NHMRC Career Development Fellowship.
The awards will benefit projects across a range of fields and include investigations into links between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease, a cell-based therapy for cystic fibrosis and preventing early preterm births.
Researchers may use their award money in a variety of ways to strengthen their applications. Some could use it to gather preliminary data while others might spend it on writing and publishing peer-reviewed papers to improve their publication record.
The awards are part of the State Government's four-year $30 million FutureHealth WA initiative which has been established to enhance Western Australia's health and medical research capability.
Minister's office - 6552 5300
Project Grant Merit Award recipients for 2015:
Glenn Arendts: A randomised trial of post-discharge intervention in high-risk older people discharged from the emergency department
Anthony Bosco: A systems biology approach to develop improved asthma treatments: connecting causal pathways with genomic signatures and drug perturbations
Michael Edel: Tissue engineering cardiac muscle from induced pluripotent stem cells and assessment of safety, function and tissue engraftment
Andrew Ford: The Healthy Heart-Mind trial
Emma Glasson: Are children disadvantaged in their health or education if they have a sibling with a developmental disability?
Julian Heng: The zinc finger protein Rp58 controls cerebral cortical development through a unique gene regulatory mechanism
Matthew Kemp: Interlukin-1 signalling in foetal injury and preterm birth
Simon Laws: Validation of genetic variants and their functional implications in Alzheimer's disease
William Lesterhuis: Identification of the networks that govern immunotherapy-induced cancer regression
Mina John: Pre-clinical development of an evolutionary conserved HIV immunogen
Yuben Moodley: Towards a cell-based therapy for cystic fibrosis - first pre-clinical studies
Gavin Pinniger: Establishing the pre-term susceptibility to diaphragm muscle dysfunction
Gianna Ravenscroft: Foetal hypokinesia - gene discovery and pathobiology
Giuseppe Verdile: Investigating underlying mechanisms linking type 2 diabetes with Alzheimer's disease
Fellowship Merit Award recipients for 2015:
Lucinda Black: Investigating dietary vitamin D in the Australian population
Cormie Prue: Exercise medicine for the management of cancer
Christina Davies: Does recreational arts engagement promote, maintain and improve population health?
Pejman Rowshan Farzad: Quality improvement in prostate radiotherapy: correction of respiratory induced tumour motions
Matthew Kemp: Diagnosing and preventing early preterm birth
Hideo Tohira: Improving the quality of pre-hospital care for elderly trauma patients
Lisa Wood: Preventing homelessness to improve mental wellbeing and address social determinants of health