Cancer leaders receive NHMRC funding

Two researchers from the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR) have received over $3.3 million from the NHMRC to support their innovative work in cancer research.

Sean Grimmond Anna Collins

Professor Sean Grimmond – Director of the UMCCR, Bertalli Chair in Cancer Medicine and lead of the Precision Oncology group – has received $2.7 million in funding for research into pancreatic cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of under 10 percent.

The project will work to decode the genetic blueprints of pancreatic cancer to determine the exact DNA-switches promoting cancer development. It will also study the way cancer, immune and supporting cells interact, in the hope to find out which, if any, are vulnerable to anti-cancer therapies or whether there are new Achille’s heels to be found.

Dr Anna Collins, of Professor Jennifer Philip's Palliative Medicine Research group, received $640,000 to develop an evidence-based, highly scalable program of work seeking to prevent morbidity to individuals living with serious cancer, and to their families and communities through timely access to quality end of life care.

The University of Melbourne received more than $60.5 million in Investigator Grants awarded to support the research programs of 42 outstanding researchers, and almost $2 million for Development Grants to support three research projects being developed commercially.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, said: "This funding will give researchers the flexibility to undertake ground-breaking research that will lead to significant advances in the health of all Australians.

"The funding includes the first grants delivered through the Investigator Grant scheme, part of NHMRC’s new grant program. These grants provide five-year funding certainty for high performing health and medical researchers from across all career stages, as well as support for their research groups."

UMCCR grants:

    • Dissecting the mutational landscapes, cellular ecosystems and therapeutic vulnerabilities of pancreatic cancer
      Prof Sean Grimmond, Precision Oncology | Investigator Grants: Leadership; $2,700,000.00
    • Preventing morbidity to individuals and communities through timely access to quality end of life care for those living with serious cancer
      Dr Anna Collins, Palliative Medicine Research | Investigator Grants: Emerging Leadership Level 1; $639,750.00