NHMRC funding to address childhood cancer care, back pain, brain aneurysms and Alzheimer’s disease

12 December 2018
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Macquarie University researchers have been awarded more than $3.3 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), announced by Minister for Health Greg Hunt today.

The funding includes $1,351,693 for a Partnership Project with Sydney Children’s Hospital Network to examine the economic benefits of precision medicine in high risk and aggressive childhood cancer, led by Professor Deborah Schofield, Director of the Centre for Economic Impacts of Genomic Medicine. The project will collaborate with partners including the Children’s Cancer Institute, UNSW and the Prince of Wales Hospital.

“Personalised medicine is one of the most important new research innovations in childhood cancer care, and our research will provide an understanding of the cost of high risk childhood cancers to government and to families, as well as the economic impacts of personalised medicine, to inform policy and achieve world-leading care for children with cancer across Australia,” said Professor Schofield.

Associate Professor Mark Hancock from the Department of Health Professions was awarded a grant of $813,443 to investigate the effectiveness of an at-home walking and education program aimed at preventing the recurrence of low back pain, a health concern that costs Australia around $9 billion each year.

Macquarie researchers have also received $724,101 in funding to create an advanced new simulation tool that informs aneurysm treatment by accurately modelling blood flow in the brain. The project, led by Professor Itsu Sen from the Department of Biomedical Sciences, will help better predict and treat cerebrovascular aneurysm haemorrhage and reduce unnecessary surgeries.

Dr Bingyang Shi, an NHMRC dementia research fellow and group leader from the Department of Biomedical Sciences has been granted $472,551, which will support a state-of-art blood-brain barrier penetrating delivery system for a potential Alzheimer’s disease therapy.

Professor Sakkie Pretorius, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) said the funding would contribute to advancements in research into some of the most significant national and global health challenges.

“These grants will accelerate Macquarie’s ongoing research contribution to the treatment and prevention of health issues affecting millions of people worldwide,” said Professor Pretorius. “This funding will enable Macquarie’s continued commitment to conducting research with world-changing impact.”

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