New grants will support health system innovation


Research into whether melanoma can be detected by a blood test or 'liquid biopsy', instead of a tissue biopsy, is among 127 new University of Melbourne projects funded in the latest National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants.

Other projects to receive funding include a new state-of-the-art implantable electrode that will be able to detect and treat epileptic seizures and Parkinson's tremors, and the development of new drugs that can drive HIV into remission.

Announced earlier today, the University has been ranked first in the country for total NHMRC funding with more than $94 million worth of grants, including 84 project grants.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor James McCluskey, said the results showed that the University is at the forefront of research that will have a meaningful and lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of Australians.

"This funding result is critical in ensuring that the University can continue to provide the excellent research outcomes we pride ourselves on," said Prof McCluskey.

"As our successful projects show, we have the capacity to make an incredible impact on solving some of our biggest challenges around health and wellbeing, from blood diseases and drug development, to mental health and neurobiology."

"National leadership and international eminence in research will only follow if government, industry and the University continue to invest in these fields. Our research landscape is moving evermore towards a collaborative model, and these grant results will promote even further linkages between our researchers and external partners," concluded Prof McCluskey.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Professor Mark Hargreaves said the result was a testament to the hard work of many in the faculty. "These grants have been awarded to some of the exceptional researchers within the Faculty and its partners."

"Importantly they recognise the interdisciplinary work that is so vital to the future of health and biomedical research. As we move toward the post-genomic era, precision health and medicine will come from the very significant efforts of these researchers who are contributing to the knowledge base that underpins innovation within the health system."

The results come just over a week after the University's success in the latest round of ARC funding. A full breakdown of NHMRC results can be found here.