Eight researchers from the University of Newcastle have been recognised nationally with the award of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) scholarships and fellowships totalling over $1.4 million.
Professor Barney Glover, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), said the University had received funding to support six fellowships and two scholarships for researchers at the University of Newcastle.
"It is a wonderful achievement that eight researchers have been recognised, given the highly competitive nature of the NHMRC Fellowship Program," said Professor Glover.
- Dr Gough Au received an Industry Fellowship of $369,000 to continue work with Psiron Ltd on breakthrough technology which may lead to the use of live viruses in the therapy of a wide range of cancers. This research has received substantial support from the Greater Building Society through the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) since 1998.
- Dr Ralph Watts and Dr Rohan Walker each received the highly prestigious Peter Doherty Fellowship worth $274,000. Dr Watts will investigate new drug treatments for melanoma, and Dr Walker will research new and more effective antidepressant treatments.
- Australian Training Research Fellowships were awarded to Port Waratah Coal Services Research Fellows Dr Vanessa Murphy, who is studying the effects of viral infection on mothers and babies during pregnancy; and Linda Campbell, who is investigating factors that lead to the onset of schizophrenia.
- Dr Joerg Mattes received a Health Professional Research Fellowship to study molecular pathways underpinning the development of asthma and allergies.
- Angela Ferguson received a Biomedical Postgraduate Scholarship to investigate modified childhood vaccination to reduce asthma.
- Dr Megan Passey received a Primary Health Care Scholarship to study interventions to help Aboriginal women stop smoking when pregnant.
Professor Glover said the funding confirmed Newcastle's position among the world's top universities for health and medical research, with many of the successful researchers belonging to the University's Priority Research Centres (PRCs) and HMRI.
"Our researchers are among the best in their fields and this funding will extend the groundbreaking health and medical research underway at the University and HMRI," said Professor Glover.
"The NHMRC awards are exciting news for the Hunter. Three of the researchers have direct links to corporate supporters of HMRI which shows that the community is investing in significant local research that is competitive at the national level," said HMRI Director Professor Maree Gleeson.