$8.3m awarded for faculty research

17 Oct 2016

The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Medicine has secured $8.3 million over five years from the National Health and Medical Research Council(NHMRC) to help tackle some of the world’s biggest health challenges.

Almost $5 million will be used to establish two NHMRC Centres for Research Excellence, one with a focus on cerebral palsy and the other on reducing stillbirths.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robyn Ward said the Australasian Cerebral Palsy Clinical Trials Network would get $2.49 million over five years.

“Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood physical disability, with one in 500 children affected,” she said.

“The disability is progressive, leading to a significant healthcare burden.

“This centre will aim to improve health outcomes for all children with cerebral palsy by refining early detection methods and determining the best interventions and treatments.”

The centre will be led by UQ Faculty of Medicine researcher Professor Roslyn Boyd, and will include researchers from the University of Notre Dame, the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies, Curtin University, the Monash Medical Centre, the University of Sydney and the University of Auckland.

UQ will also be home to the Centre for Research Excellence in Stillbirth, which was awarded $2.49 million over five years.

“This centre will focus on reducing the 3000 stillbirths that occur each year in Australia,” Professor Ward said.

“Up to 60 per cent of stillbirths are unexplained, and stillbirth rates haven’t improved in more than 20 years.

“This centre will not only aim to improve those figures, but to provide support for the families, friends and medical professionals affected by these tragic deaths.”

The centre will be led by Mater Research Institute-UQ’s Associate Professor Vicki Flenady and will include researchers from Griffith, La Trobe, Monash and Sydney universities, the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, the Kolling Institute of Medical Research and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.

In addition to the two centres, Professor Gita Mishra from the School of Public Health was awarded a research fellowship to leverage data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health to reduce chronic disease risk.

Dr Alize Ferrari (School of Public Health), Dr Colm Keane (UQ Diamantina Institute) and Dr Helen Barrett(School of Medicine) were recipients of early career fellowships.

Additionally, Professor Jason Roberts (School of Medicine) and Professor David Paterson (UQ Centre for Clinical Research) were awarded practitioner fellowships, sharing in $745,662 over five years.

Associate Professor Trent Woodruff (School of Biomedical Sciences) and Profess Hayden Homer (UQCCR) will share more than a million dollars in development grants.

Media: Kim Lyell, k.lyell@uq.edu.au, +61 7 33465214, 0427 530647.