University of Sydney ahead of the pack in 2005 NHMRC Program and Enabling Grant Awards
6 July 2005
The University of Sydney has been successful in securing more than $22 million in funding in the 2005 round of NHMRC Program Grant and Enabling Grant awards, around a fifth of the total awarded nationally ($101 million) and more than any other university in the country.
Program Grants to University of Sydney researchers are in areas as diverse as skin cancer research, stuttering, medical test evaluation, and gene function. An Enabling Grant goes to Professor John Simes and his team to develop a national resource for clinical trials.
Professor Richard Kefford and colleagues from the Sydney Melanoma Unit at the Westmead Millennium Institute and the University of Sydney have received $7,895,340 to investigate the molecular determinants of risk, progression and treatment response in melanoma.
Melanoma is more common in Australia than any other country. The melanoma incidence rates in Australia and New Zealand are around four times higher than those found in Canada, the UK and the US and up to 10 times higher than in other countries.
By investigating melanoma sufferers thoroughly, and by careful treatment of those who develop melanoma, they aim to be able to better predict who is likely to develop the disease, and in whom it is likely to spread. With this information, they aim to improve the care of people at risk of the disease, and also improve the treatment of people who develop it.
Welcoming the funding, Professor Kefford said: ‘This NHMRC Grant will progress our research into the molecular factors that determine people’s risk of melanoma. It will also allow us to identify the type of melanoma and how that disease may respond to treatments, based on understanding flaws in the “computer program” of melanoma cells, resulting in a better prognosis for melanoma sufferers.’
The other recipients are:
- Professor Merlin Crossley and his team at the University of Sydney’s School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, received $2,823,805 to investigate bimolecular interactions in cellular development and disease;
- Professor Mark Onslow and colleagues from the University of Sydney’s Australian Stuttering Research Centre, who received $4,068,410 to determine, through research trials, ways to adapt existing treatments for delivery by distance learning to rural patients who may not have access to speech pathology services;
- Professor Les Irwig and colleagues who received $6,316,140 for the Screening and Test Evaluation Program (STEP), to study the under-researched area of medical tests. Dealing with questions including: Should a particular test be done or not? When should it be done? How should it be done? Which test is best?
An Enabling Grant of $1,290,000 was awarded to Professor John Simes at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, to develop a national resource which will provide resources in clinical trials expertise and web-based trials systems to enable investigator-initiated clinical trials of public good.
For further information contact the University of Sydney Media Office:
+61 2 9351 2261 or +61 2 9351 4514
Pictured: Hon Tony Abbott MP announcing the NHMRC funding at Sydney University