News

Ramaciotti Foundations fund Sydney University projects



26 November 2008

Professor Ian Hickie and Associate Professor Naomi Rogers have secured a contribution for the Chronobiology and Sleep Group at the Brain and Mind Research Institute
Professor Ian Hickie and Associate Professor Naomi Rogers have secured a contribution for the Chronobiology and Sleep Group at the Brain and Mind Research Institute

The University of Sydney has had remarkable success in applications for grants from The Ramaciotti Foundations announced recently.

The Foundations allocate two types of grants - Establishment Gifts, which are given to young investigators taking up a new position in an institution, and Major Equipment Gifts, which contribute to the cost of a single piece of equipment worth $100,000 or more.

The University of Sydney was successful in five out of six applications for Establishment grants and nine out of ten applications for Equipment awards.

Professor Ian Hickie and Associate Professor Naomi Rogers from the Brain and Mind Research Institute were successful in securing a contribution toward Ambulatory Polysomnographic Assessment System for the Chronobiology and Sleep Group at the Institute. This major piece of equipment is vital for a sleep study being run by the Chronobioloy and Sleep Laboratory, which will start to look at its first patients within the next two weeks.

"Together with topping ARC and NHMRC project grants this significant Ramaciotti support means we can maximize our contributions to research and research training," said Professor Merlin Crossley, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

The Ramaciotti Foundations also fund a Medal for Research Excellence and the biennial Ramaciotti Research Award. The former is awarded to researchers who have made an outstanding contribution to clinical and biomedical research or the way healthcare is delivered. This year, it was won by the director of The University of Queensland's Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and Metabolic Medicine, Professor Ian Frazer for his contribution to the development of the world's first cervical cancer vaccine. The latter will be awarded next year.

The Foundations were set up in 1970 by Vera Ramaciotti with the proceeds of the sale of Theatre Royal, which is now a part of the MLC Centre on King Street, Sydney, and adjacent properties. She and brother Clive, who passed away in 1970, had inherited the properties from their father Major General Gustavo Ramaciotti who had bought the theatre in 1913.

Vera Ramaciotti set up the Foundations to support biomedical research partly due to her own struggle with diabetes. The Foundations have since become one of the largest funders of such research in the field. The funds, which are managed by Perpetual Trustee Company, began with $6.7 million and have grown to $65 million. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute secured the first major grant in 1971 and the Foundations have since donated more than $45 million to biomedical research.


Contact: Kath Kenny

Phone: 02 9351 2261 or 0434 606 100