Dementia, cancer, stuttering and alcohol addiction among problems University of Sydney researchers will tackle under new NHMRC funding, worth more than $30 million.
University of Sydney researchers have received more than $30 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to develop new and improved treatments for dementia, cancer and alcohol disorders.
Sydney researchers were awarded three Program Grants and two Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) Fellowships.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison said the results followed an outstanding 2016 for NHMRC outcomes, with $80 million awarded for 89 grants and fellowships in late 2016 and $2.5 million for a Centre for Research Excellence in Indigenous Health.
This is another outstanding NHMRC result for our health and medical researchers.
"The outcomes of these projects will have a direct impact on improving the wellbeing of millions of lives around the world," said Professor Ivison.
Frontotemporal degeneration of the brain is a leading cause of morbidity due to a pathologically heterogeneous, rapidly-progressive group of disorders with behavioural, language and motor deficits. Professor Halliday’s internationally recognised team will continue to develop the necessary tools and therapies to effectively diagnose, manage and treat these disorders, with particular focus on understanding the unusual genetics underpinning these disorders, and fast-tracking any potential treatments.
The Australian MRI-Linac Program will change the science and clinical practice of radiotherapy (which is used for almost half of all cancer patients) by explicitly targeting the dynamic anatomy and physiology of cancer, increasing cancer control and decreasing treatment side effects. Successful completion of this program will have a direct impact on the treatment and lives of Australian cancer patients in the foreseeable future.
The program of research will establish the world’s first Internet-based stuttering clinic to service all the clinical needs of child, adolescent and adult patients. The Internet-based clinic model will provide economical, scalable and translatable stuttering treatments that will, for the first time, provide a means to adequately manage the public health problem of stuttering.
Given that treatments are effective in addressing symptoms in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), but there is no cure, it is important to focus on strategic ways to use current treatments effectively for optimal management and thus the maximum benefit for the patient. This project proposes an innovative reconfiguration of health systems pathways in COPD patient care by using specialised trained pharmacists working closely with GPs in providing evidence based care.
Disorders of alcohol use are highly prevalent in Australia and, while these are amenable to treatment through pharmacological and/or psychological interventions, only one in five seek help. Strategies to increase the uptake of treatments are urgently required. Dr Morley’s translational research project will develop and validate a pathway of care for the treatment of alcohol use disorders in general practice.