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$5.4m boost for Sydney dementia research

1 August 2017
Female health researchers shine in latest NHMRC funding outcomes

Sydney academics have received $5.4 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to investigate methods for prevention and care for people with dementia.

The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, yesterday (Monday 31 July) announced the University of Sydney had received five Boosting Dementia Research Leadership Fellowships, which constituted a 100 percent success rate of applications submitted.

These fellowships will investigate whether improving sleep can reduce dementia risk, as well as the genes that are mutated in dementia and ways to improve dementia care, such as rehabilitation and optimisation of pharmaceuticals.

The University also received a Boosting Dementia Research Grant which will focus on helping people with dementia stay in their communities for longer.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison said the outcomes were an outstanding result and reflect the high-calibre public health, psychology and pharmacology research being conducted at the University, with five out of six of the successful grants awarded to women.

“This is a great outcome for our health researchers. Dementia is one of the leading causes of death in Australia and we are proud to be contributing to knowledge that could help prevent and unlock new treatments for this horrible disease,” he said. 

  • Associate Professor Lee-Fay Low, from the Faculty of Health Sciences, was awarded $722,358 (Leadership Fellowship) to test and advocate for rehabilitation interventions immediately post-diagnosis and as part of home and residential care.
  • Dr Carol Dobson-Stone, from the Brain and Mind Centre, received $715,144 (Leadership Fellowship) to discover genes that are mutated in dementia.
  • Dr Danijela Gnjidic, from the Faculty of Pharmacy, received $719,637 (Leadership Fellowship) to optimise pharmaceutical care for people with dementia in acute care settings.
  • Dr Craig Phillips, from the Sydney Medical School, received $709,585 (Leadership Fellowship) to explore whether improving sleep could reduce dementia risk.
  • Professor Sharon Naismith, from the Faculty of Science, was awarded $720,021 (Leadership Fellowship) to investigate novel assessments and interventions for dementia.
  • Professor Yun-Hee Jeon, from the Sydney Nursing School, received $1,864,345 (Research Grant) to trial a new program that aims to help older people with dementia live in their communities for longer.